Although I’m not the biggest fan of poetry, sometimes I astound myself with how well I can write it; or at least imitate it. We read a poem titled Elvis Presley and Emily Dickinson in Heaven. I didn’t love it that much, enjambment makes me mad, but I was still able to replicate it and maybe even improve upon it.
George Washington and Richard Nixon in Heaven
They call each other “P”. Nixon burns
files en masse in his office and hides
them from the Washington. Washington chastises him in a lofty, learned accent.
In heaven Washington wears his hair slicked back, wears
leisure suits and shapes his fingers into a ‘V’
Nixon wears powdered wigs, false teeth
knickers, and a gold-trimmed tricorne.
They have long talks about constitutionality and often disagree
Washington prefers that Nixon remain dead. Forever.
Washington’s speeches now contain hippies, Vietnam,
communists, civil disobedience, and the American way.
Nixon learns a bit about honesty. This afternoon
he learns it’s wrong to lie and cheat and whistles the National Anthem.
Both will sing along. Alone
in their oval offices later, they will listen to the anthem
and preside. They will not think of foreign aggressors
or communists. They know why God made them
roommates. It’s because they preside over America. It’s because
their country is great, even if one of them wasn’t. It’s because
God is an American.