Archive for Sunday, October 4, 2009

Poet’s Showcase: ‘A Great Weeping in a Great Hall’

October 4, 2009


He awoke to a sobbing down the hall

and he rose, fighting the pains in his feet,

but when they press oaken floorboaords

their wooden groans match his as he makes

his way to a great room lit by keoresene lamps

as well as by a bright moon slithering

its way through a tall narrow window.

Uninvited guests chatter and weep.

Yet he is unwilling to examine their faces

lest he finds grief etched in their eyes.

His head tilts toward a corner of the room.

A draped coffin assaults his senses and

numbs his voice for a moment.

He lays hold of a guard in blue and

demands to know who lies in that box.

“The President,” the guard whispers, his voice

tumbling into a cavernous moan.

“No!” the man cries out, his soul

rent in two like the Temple curtain.

Surely this cannot be him.

Still he wonders how Mary Todd will bear it.


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