Lincoln’s green & gold wool
slippers, at size 14, were too big
to fill. Goats embroidered in gold
& beige, squatting on two
shades of cabbage. Two-toned
horns spiking up & ears lifted
& wide open. Remember
his formal stovepipe
hat & black broadcloth
coattails down
to his knees? His penchant for
melancholy & kids dead
too soon? He was also free

spirited & whimsical, a tolerant
parent. He allowed Willie
& Tad to raise Nanny, Nanko,
& Jack, pardoned turkey at the White
House. While Lincoln shuffled
from bedroom to study mulling
the days to come, Nanny
could be found chewing
cud nonchalantly in Tad’s
bedroom. The boys hitched
the goats to kitchen
chairs & darted across the main
floor causing well-dressed
women to pull up their hoop
skirts to make a wider

path. Abraham didn’t like
being called Abe but he loved
losing an hour on the presidential
lawn to play goofy games with his boys
& beloved goats. At times he greeted
official guests with hair
disheveled & slippered
feet. Does it matter
that he wore those slippers
down to his last day? That he
bragged about his goats for their
gentleness & intelligence? That he
was smitten with his pardoned
turkey? I will let you answer
those questions for yourself.