Three poems


Honestly, 6’4” Abe would have been a superstar center

in Dale, Indiana, which is what that little town

is named now, but was Elizabeth

when Abe worked on a farm outside there

and was 16 and sowed instead of shot

because there were no courts or hoops,

no Hoosiers or Boilermakers,

no NBA early entry,

instead became one of the most honored

All-Star presidents in our history.

No basketball then,

but gangly Abe could horseshoe with the best of them,

long arms stretch toward the stake,

long legs bullet the kickball at the goal,

big thumbs snap a marble true,

kids terrified when they called Red Rover.

No, had Doc Naismith

invented the leather ball

and peach baskets game back then,

Young Abe would have dunked

instead of speechified,

dribbled instead of traveled,

buck boarded to other little towns,

crushed opponents with his height

not his tongue.

Abe didn’t win on the court,

but in the courtroom.

In the Capitol

dead from a bullet

shot because Booth

couldn’t stand his team