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?

1st Place Winner: K-12
Thomas Xavier Polanski
St. Cletus School
Mrs. Murphy's 8th Grade Language Arts Class
La Grange, Illinois

All: "If They Could Speak Today, What Would They Say?"

With a rumbling of rock Old Abe awoke,
And from his mouth these words he spoke
"What a wonderful feeling to see again,
To be part of this world and to talk to old friends."

From a print in the rock George's head popped.
He opened his mouth, thought, then stopped.
"What a wonderful feeling to wake once more,
To live, to see, to smell and adore."

Then all at once a third burst near,
It was old Tom, George's friend dear.
"Why hi," said he, "so nice to see,
I've snapped out of my reverie."

Finally the fourth one came,
And Theodore Roosevelt was his name.
He looked around and then he said,
"My, I'm nothing but a head!"

Then the conversation did begin,
And tales of their lives did these four spin .
Faster and faster did the stories become,
and with each telling more exaggerated ones.

Still they were the very best,
And any who heard them, very blest.
There was the tale of George's cherry tree,
And a discussion of Roosevelt's foreign policy.

Then Abe did tell of the Civil War,
With its morals, and glory, and blood, and gore.
To him it was the saddest of times,
And every battle seemed like a crime.

Then it was Jefferson's time to tell
Of if he thought he'd "ruled" well.
He said that he thought he had,
His people were proud, his country glad.

And that was the end of the stories they told
of all of their lives till they were old.
A silence surrounded each of their faces,
Each from other times and different places.

Then the sun rose and then they died,
Until the next night when again they would rise.