Ford's Theater, April 15th, 1865,

by matthew scott harris
(schwenksville, pennsylvania)

thy king dome crumbles!

thy king dome crumbles!

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 toot ravel 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 pallor tubby somewhat exact
from mighty robber barons,

who tolerated no flack
despite the (bleeding nose against grindstone)
inhumanity bearing down hard
with very little giveback
viz zit head as greenback matter the noxious
crash course urbanization
(and attendant ghettoization)
breeding a lunging tuberculosis hack

this twenty first century mid dull 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
this calamitous event) in nonblack

and white (digital remastered technicolor)
exemplified, enumerated, and emphasized
how a minor dispute got way offtrack
whereat the 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 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 the Ides of March death didst dance
during the low key celebration sans,
internecine bloodbath Grants'

and Lees' armistice
one hundred and fifty three years ago
the peace treaty signed at Appomattox,
an irrevocable agony did blow
when that fateful, mournful,

somber night at Ford's Theater
the grim reaper didst (like Jim) crow
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!

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