1999 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 Place Winner: Adult Poetry
Janet Carter
Rapid City, South Dakota

All the Presidents:
Voices From the Past

It was a beautiful moonlit night
After most had gone to bed,
When I overheard the faces four
And this is what they said:

"I don't understand America,"
Confided Abe to his friends.
"If I was President today
I'd surely make amends."

"For babies born addicted,
For soldiers in distant wars,
For cats and dogs without a home,
And abuse behind closed doors."

For hunger in the midst of waste,
For hate, greed and pollution,
For children raised near violence,
There must be some solution!"

"Yes, Abe," said George, "I do agree
That these problems all are true,
But if you recall the early years
We had some problems too."

"There was slavery and poverty,
Disease was running wild,
There was no regard for women's rights,
And no medicine for the child."

"We've made great strides in these respects,"
Said Teddy to the three,
"And we pushed on through new challenges
To fight for Democracy."

"And today," said Tom, as he joined in,
"There's much to be proud of
We still embrace America
With hope and faith and love."

And as the wind rushed through the pines
While their voices trailed away,
I couldn't help believing
Everything will be okay.


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