Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2023  Vol. 21  No.3
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Dragon

Traveling by train between cities in the East
between engagements to speak—often
too tired to sleep,

his white shirt like a nightgown, he climbed
out of the rocking bed and walked stumbling
from car to car

in the dark pacing the full length of the thing
and back thinking and walking
in the rumbling halls

of the dark train—the whistle a scream as if
a dragon hunted the mountains hurtling
itself through the woods,

the iron body rattling to break, the wheels
humming and the coal fire mind
of the dragon furious

and clear diving down. It wasn’t looking
for him, although it was him,
Abraham Lincoln,

bleary in the belly of the thing going
down through the dark
his dying country found.  end

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