So while digging through bins in the garage, I came across this ancient treasure. My first epic poem (and illuminated book–although badly illustrated would probably be more accurate) from when I was 12 years old. Done on index cards and bound with glue and a black ribbon with yellow flowers. I give you–THE ALAMO!
A Poem by Maria Szabo
The Alamo was a Mission
A mission that was a success
In short, the Mission Alamo
Was the very best.
The Mexicans did not trust
The Americans, who were harrowed
Then the Decree of 1830
Added upon their sorrows
Sam Houston was a general
Who called the men together
So Houston said to his men “Give up?”
And the men replied “Never!”
General Houston appointed a man named Travis,
Who was told he had a job,
He took 183 men to the Alamo
To await the oncoming mob
With Travis was James Bowie,
Whose knife had his name,
Also Davy Crockett
About to go in his fame
At dawn came General Santa Anna
And 2000 men did he bring
The Texans looked on soberly
And didn’t say a thing
“Surrender to us!” said Santa Anna
“And we will let you go!”
Travis fired his largest cannon!
Clearly, the answer was NO!
The fight was on and started
Bloody and 13 days long
But the time was given to Sam Houston
To make his army strong
At the Battle of San Jacinto
The world was shocked to see
Texas win independence
With the death of 183
So wherever you are, whenever you are
Above earth or below
Remember the death of 183
And Remember the Alamo!
Cover. Bound with black ribbon and yellow flowers (for the Yellow Rose of Texas). Death looms in the shadows of the Alamo.
Looking back, I’m impressed that I put little illuminated letters to start almost every page.
So of course, Mexicans meant sombrero and pinata. Hey, I was 12.
Historical fact: The Texans really had a flag with a cannon saying “Come and Take It!”
And there’s the Alamo. I’d been there on a family trip a few years before. There were actually more than 183 people in the Alamo, but I didn’t remember that at the time.
Bloody Bowie knife. I was a weird kid.
You can’t really see in the picture, but Santa Anna with his big hat is marching in on the very left bottom of the page. I didn’t take into account binding when I drew the pictures.
Okay, you can see Santa Anna and his big hat a little better here. I was a little obsessed with that hat of his.
The bloody battle. I somehow forgot to mention that the Texans lost the battle? But that the battle was important because it gave Houston time to organize his army. Still, how the heck did I forget to mention they lost?!
And a sudden jump to the Battle of San Jacinto. In the men’s thoughts (big faces on the right) are Davy Crockett (with his coonskin cap), James Bowie (with his muttonchop sideburns) and William Travis, who was boring looking and didn’t make much of an impression on me. The Mexicans are shouting “Me no Alamo!” and “Me no Goliad!”, which actually did happen. The Goliad Massacre on March 27, 1836, was overshadowed by the Battle of the Alamo, but twice as many men were killed there.
So the stick figures are shouting “Victory or Death!” Again, I forgot about margins when drawing this.
Okay, not an epic for the ages, but hey, I was 12! Also not great at drawing. This was a school assignment for my Texas History Class and I don’t remember what grade I got, but did remember getting points for creativity.
I only have bits and pieces of my poetry from that time, mainly things I published in the school newspaper. I stopped writing poetry for a long time after my 8th grade English teacher told me that my poems were “stupid.” She was a horrible teacher. You should never say that to a child. I didn’t start writing poetry again until I was in my 30’s.