Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Slept With Lincoln - by Patty Mooney

Illinois State Historical Library Photograph Discovered by Ronald Rietveld



In 1876 thieves failed an attempt
to steal Abe Lincoln's corpse
and hold it for ransom.

25 years later
when rumors rose
that Lincoln was not
the body in the box
it was decided
to exhume the coffin.

Two plumbers chiseled
an oblong piece
off the lead-lined top
over Lincoln's head and shoulders.
A harsh, choking odor.
23 people walked slowly
forward to peer down.
Men removed their hats.

Mr. Lincoln's melancholy face,
the wart on his cheek
and coarse black hair were there,
the eyebrows vanished.

The president wore the suit
from his second inauguration,
coated in yellow mold.

All agreed the remains
were those of Lincoln.

Said one man,
"As I came up I saw that top-knot;
his hair was coarse and thick, like a horse's,
and stood up high in front.
He looked like a statue of himself."

Said another,
"I was not scared at the time
but I slept with Lincoln
for the next six months."

At the insistence of Lincoln’s son, Robert,
they soldered back the oblong piece
lowered the coffin into a cage
10 feet deep, poured down
4,000 pounds of cement
that set into a solid block of rock
where the Great Emancipator
sleeps, undisturbed.

2 comments:

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Okay I'm jealous......I wanted to sleep with Lincoln first. I'm mad :)
Beautiful post by the way........

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Patty Mooney said...

Thanks Reggie Girl, the Blog World is amazing!