1998 Mount Rushmore
International Writing Contest
Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln:
Presidents with Visions for America

If they could speak today,
what might they say?

Second Prize: Adult Poetry
Jill A. Martin
Bowler, Wisconsin
The Spirit of Mount Rushmore Itself:
Reminders of Freedom

I am an old gray mountain
carved, whittled into fathers of freedom.
Symbols of democracy. I am more than stone
and symbols, more than tourist attraction. Strength.
Mountainous strength stands behind my eyes, words,
knowledge that passed generations of America.

I've watched generations of America
flow by like rivers, tasting mountain
air, drifting into history as if breathing words.
They have come to live words of freedom,
generation upon generation of strength,
independence. A country of unbreakable stone.

Just as I am stone,
molded from our country's souls, hearts of America.
My power weaves through every individual...strength,
courage, reminders only a mountain
could reveal--strength, courage, reminders only freedom
could birth. Reaching far beyond the spectrum of words.

Look upon me. Remember my words,
Remember those before us. My faces of stone,
grasp far beneath fathers of freedom.
It burrows deep into ideals, souls, and memories of America.
It is America. It is mountain.
It is messenger of American dreams and strength.

It is power of every individual strength
America lives...thrives. Standing behind our words
we face futures like ancient mountains
face the world. Exposed. Powerful. Pillars. Stones
of massive endurance. That is America!
That is freedom!
That is Rushmore.


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