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?

Twelfth Grade Winner
Nathan Conant
Newberg High School, Newberg, Oregon

Lincoln: Seeing Eyes

My gray eyes aren't cold they're soft warm and seeing
From my vantage up here I spy a human being
Whose darkness and hate does lead him to violence
In an alley of angst another breath he will silence

Did I think in naiveté that I was the answer
That after me, racism, sore like a cancer
Would turn benign and die out with age
No, I knew of that river's animal rage

That hate would live on in the hearts of all men
Instead hope lies in those who'd be cleansed
There are such hearts which help heal and love
Those American souls who nourish a white dove

They're individuals strong, like you, and like me
Who long for a world of light and of peace
Our country seems guided by invisible hands
Will we fail? Will we live? Only time's falling sands

Will answer so hard a question as that
As for me I'll be here (by the way where's my hat?)
It gets a bit sunny and rainy and runny
But for me no stone stove pipe, I suppose they ran low on money!