Good Poem #13 – Nancy Hanks

I’ve always liked this poem that imagines Lincoln’s mother wondering about little Abe since she died when he was only 9.  It seems appropriate as Mother’s Day approaches.

“Did he get on?”

Nancy Hanks

by Rosemary Benet (with husband, Stephen Vincent Benet) – 1933

Rosemary Benet

Rosemary Benet

If Nancy Hanks
Came back as a ghost,
Seeking news
Of what she loved most,
She’d ask first “Where’s my son?
What’s happened to Abe?
What’s he done?”

“Poor little Abe,
Left all alone
Except for Tom,
Who’s a rolling stone;
He was only nine
The year I died.
I remember still
How hard he cried.”

“Scraping along
In a little shack,
With hardly a shirt
To cover his back,
And a prairie wind
To blow him down,
Or pinching times
If he went to town.”

“You wouldn’t know
About my son?
Did he grow tall?
Did he have fun?
Did he learn to read?
Did he get to town?
Do you know his name?
Did he get on?”

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