The play unfolds upon the stage
The killer hides his madman's rage
Up the stairs he quickly sneaks
A certain box is what he seeks
But there! A figure tall and lean
Attention focused on the scene
Below. The killer finds his mark
The gun roars--deaf'ning in the dark...
The President falls -- Booth thinks he's won
And now John Wilkes must turn and run
Though later caught and justice done
A nation's innocence is truly gone
This next one is not one of mine, but my late mother's. She wrote it in response to events many of us remember. It was the rhythm of this poem that I adopted for the Lincoln one. They seem to go well together.
November 22nd, 1963
The Setting: Dallas, U.S.A.
The Plot: To kill one J.F.K.
The Assassin: Oswald, Harvey Lee
The Reason: Whimsicality
The Season: Autumn, warm, sunny
The Year: One thousand, nine, six, three
The Day: November Twenty-Two
Death waited for a rendezvous
The Motorcade appeared on stage
A madman shuffled in his cage
A rifle shot rang out, - and then -
The madman smiled, and aimed again.
The awful bullet found its mark
Dead lay the President - still, stiff, stark;
A nation stunned couldn't understand...
A deadly fury filled the land.
A world-wide grief couldn't bring him back,
And mourning millions cried for Jack.
But he is gone....for life is war
The Gods of Love laugh as before.
copyright EPB, 1963