Get Your Premium Membership

Read Theater Poems Online

NextLast
 

Ford's Theater April 15th 1865

Ford's Theater, April 15th, 1865...
Petersen House, Washington, D.C.

I admit to own a passion
for the Civil War in general,
and the life and death of
the sixteenth president in particular
between a hard spot of whiskey
and draughts of arrack;
nonetheless (without doubt), this Yankee
would be fain to travel back
to Antebellum America
amidst the urban din and clack

where smelting earsplitting,
choking industrialization
a deaf fin hit drawback,
and where dark shadows cast an eternal
edge of night twilight zone pallor 
tubby somewhat exact
from mighty robber barons,
who tolerated no flack
(nope not even Roberta)
despite the bleeding nose against grindstone
inhumanity bearing down hard
with very little giveback
viz zit head as greenback

yes...no matter the noxious
crash course urbanization
(and attendant ghettoization)
breeding a lung wrenching tuberculosis hack,
this twenty first century middle aged
married man (an average Monterey Jack
ass), whose sought after
claim to fame penchant
modestly admits to whiz knack

crafting literary concoctions with no lack
of ideas, where one arose
strong as an oncoming mack
truck (this vibrant fascination
with the American Civil War
(even before Ken Burns popularized
calamitous event) in non black
and white (digitally remastered technicolor)
exemplified, enumerated, and emphasized
how a minor dispute got way off,track
whereat stately commander in chief did pack
a punch analogous sans, barreling forth
like unstoppable quarterback
despite his six foot four inch
gangly physique cull rack
tried his darnedest,
(or substitute unprintable epithet)
yet a coterie of anti war subjects
figuratively and literally up in arms

wanted nothing less to sack
the sixteenth president,
whose aged fifty seven year old countenance
one month after 
Ides of March death didst dance
during the low key celebration sans,
internecine bloodbath Grants'
and Lees' armistice
one hundred and fifty seven years ago;

the peace treaty signed
(April 9th, 1865) at Appomattox,
an irrevocable agony did blow
when that fateful, mournful,
somber night at Ford's Theater
the grim reaper didst appear
(like Jim) crow king 
ably linkedin with Reconstruction
after one shot rang out blasting,
where crimson tide didst flow
drowning American history
at that juncture grow

wing no less painless today, which hoo
veer ring agony didst smite
incomprehensible cleft mow
wing down unfinished ambition, which no
one other than Abraham Lincoln could sow
the racial rift, that slavery trucked in tow
generations shackled with compounded woe

that fateful April 15, 1865
at approximately 10:20 p.m
one hundred plus fifty seven years; it's been
long since deceased taking deadly 
gunshot punctuated deadly din,
whence fifteen plus decades passed sans 
conspirator tried to get even 
at Ford’s theater – forever 
eviscerating thin lipped grin
of the sixteenth president - still 
his unrealized promising dreams with in

Reconstruction paradigm presses 
historians to speculate what kin
ship his unrealized post-bellum blueprint 
while he sat in his booth, 
attended a performance of the comedy
Our American Cousin that night
when a bullet entered below 
the president's left ear, 
bored diagonally through his brain
and stopped behind his right …

wrought him slumped over,
now tis 7 score + 17 years witnessed 
assassination of Abraham Lincoln
team of rivals mastermind, re: the 
American Civil War wreck con struck shin
yet…his positive affects find him 
honored with outsize depictions and a con tin
hue wing legacy sustained, whereby 
hearts and minds he posthumously did win.

Said enigmatic man shrouded and idolized 
with beatific, democratic essence
fantastic, honorific, pacific aura, dogma, 
and persona with meager off fence
to generations of United States citizens – 
enthralled ladies and gents
whose reverberations and ramifications 

of humane karma lives on – hence
begotten progeny enjoying freedoms 
perchance ensconced with rapt innocence
or those inured with sensibility and sense
can bequeath pride without prejudice 
whether living in splendour or in tents
toward Illinois railroad log splitter, 
whose humble roots forged steely covenants.


Copyright © matthew harris

NextLast