In the cemetery at Gettysburg, round
                    a great soldiers' monument,
  radiate the gentle arcs of dead,
                   named and unknown together,

       here New York, there Massachusetts,
            here Vermont, there
                          Ohio, but--

down the slope, in a separate place,
                   where only the unknown sleep,
            unidentified even by state,
remembered only by numbers,
                          one through 536,
stamped on small marble posts, lies
            the unknown of the unknowns,
                                   beneath his blank stone,
                the loneliest boy in Pennsylvania.

Citizens! Let us
            here highly resolve,
                           now and forever,
      to call him #404.

August 1997

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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