In Carolina. She was hoeing beans; as a languorous breeze
I caressed her loins, until her hoe lay abandoned in the furrow.
In an outsized pram my sixth, this broken, mustachioed
Soldier whose wounds I bind up night. His mother I forget.
as Edmund's sword-bearer told the story to King Aethelstan, when
Dunstan was a young man and the sword-bearer was a very old man.
- Aelfric's preface, The Life of King Edmund
was lifted on to her father's shoulders
at Abraham Lincoln's funeral.
Her father said to her: 'Never forget
That you were at Abraham Lincoln's funeral!'
He said it at the time, she told me, and again
at intervals throughout the rest of his life.
She told it to me in 1956
when I was ten, and said: 'Never forget
that you once knew an old woman
who had been at Abraham Lincoln's funeral
when she was four.' Fifty years ago now;
so what I say to you is: never forget
that you once read something by someone
who said they had known when they were young
someone who said their father told them
they had been to Abraham Lincoln's funeral.