Poem: “The bullet enters Lincoln’s skull”

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Poem: “The bullet enters Lincoln’s skull”

lincolnlastphoto...detail...detailHe dreamed
and saw her under the tree
in the pink dress her mother hated.

He felt a small hand in his
in the darkness
and wanted to escort the boy.

He saw the sun of that afternoon on the circuit
when the horse was lame
and he had a headache.

He heard the voices of the hecklers
for the first time clearly.

He saw the burned city
and the white city
and the prairie town Capitol.

He smelled the market stores
along the river
and the fish there
for purchase.

He saw his father by the woodblock
with an axe in his hands
and the body of an animal at his feet.

He tasted blood.

Patrick T. Reardon

Originally published in the magazine Telephone Book, number 18, in 1983.

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