“Do Over — A Fantasy”
By Art Stamford
Two old men in an Uber car
rode to the Grant’s Tomb part of town.
They found Grant chomping a big cigar –
just the dude they were hunting down.
“Jefferson Davis, Gen’ral Lee,
what can I do for you?
Surely you can’t be looking for me –
our business is long since through.”
“Grant,” said Lee, “we have a simple request-
join us in a time machine.
When we last met, we weren’t at our best –
let’s find out what might have been.”
“Lee,” said Grant, “I think you’re unhinged –
there’s no such thing as time machines.
You and Davis must have overbinged
on Nintendo when you were teens.”
“If I may, sir” – Davis’ voice was polite –
“we’ve gamed it out as you say.
And what we’ve learned doing it night after night
is we might well have won the day.”
“But you didn’t,” said Grant, “We certainly won,
and slavery’s decidedly dead.
You have to accept it – it’s over and done –
not in vain have so many bled.”
“What about those who died on our side –
are you saying they died in vain?
It’s not over for us while thoughts of them abide –
you must let us try again.”
“Hitler,” said Grant, “re-did World War One,
the Russians want back Ukraine,
the Mideast Wars are never done –
is this what you hope to gain?
“Things have to be settled – we have to move on –
we can’t have a do-over war.
Can’t you see? It’s over and done –
we’ve resolved what the fighting was for.”
“For us the British would turn the tide,”
went on Davis persistently.
“They really meant to come in on our side –
and of course we have General Lee.”
“What they meant doesn’t count,” said Grant stubbornly,
“and they didn’t come in on your side.
Conceding the brilliance of General Lee,
it did nothing to turn the tide.”
“You’re a poor winner, sir,” Davis said now,
“you should learn to be more big hearted.”
And both giving Grant a brisk little bow
they took their leave and departed.
They retired to a bar that was not very far
and started working up a new plan.
It just wasn’t right that Grant wouldn’t fight –
he was not a gentleman.
And so now we ask: will they manage the task,
will war buffs have a new day?
And how soon will it be till we once again see
the nation in complete disarray?
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