The Epic Poem [home] [contents] [comments] [discussion] [shop]
       A Verse Narrative by Michael E. Mautner


    From the Heartland to the wild-again west
    ex-Grangers resurrect icons of ire.
    They set Billy Bryan's Cross of Gold on fire
    and take up the mantle of Dixie's defeat,
    cloaking themselves in torn, bride-white sheets.
    The Klan rules Indiana.  The best
    Hoover's and FDR's G-men can do
    is push a statute (mere words) through Congress
    and inspect a lynching or two.
    Kansas was thought safe, locals' hostility less
    than in other places, so Bill Henderson
    had come alone, left his partner
    clipping articles in Kansas City.
    Cooper is the best researcher
    in the Bureau, and with Bill's fancy
    footwork they make quite a team.
    Bill wishes his partner had come with him.
    Coop would find running from horses a scream.

    Don't panic.  Thinking, 'These hick coteries vary,'
    he rounds a corner to catch his breath,
    wondering which deal fear and which death.
    A melee yet scary, they pass his perch,
    carrying on with their wearisome search.
    Bill leaps from the doorway into the street,
    makes for his car but falls off his feet,
    landing just out of reach of the running board,
    his cry for aid an alert to the horde
    which turns, bears down, gritting under each hood.
    Henderson's ankle is broken.  "No good
    citizens in earshot," guesses he
    as the posse looms, their weaponry
    poised for polo with his head.
    "Dear me," he says, "I'm dead."
    But, no doom: A bright blue streak
    lifts him, leaving his hat to the hooves.
    The mock Rangers draw rein, confused,
    in shock.  Ross declares victory
    and they break up, adrenaline
    waning into shame.  Henderson
    passes out as, way up high,
    he is carried to safety by
    a lad with a colorful name.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 

NEXT CANTO <font size=-1>NEXT CANTO</font>

Superman The American Way Cap!
The Epic Poem


Powered by