He Desires to Ride Into Office

May 21, 2014

“Soon enough word run through the crowd that Abe was coming round soon. I stayed right where I was setting, although it was hot and my heart was thumping in my chest like a loose mule. I stood when Chapman said he could see Abe on top of a grand carriage. I could not make out one from the other just yet. Took some time for me to fix my eyes on Abe, and I when I done it I nearly went right home to get cooking! He look too much like the skeleton I found in the wilderness all them years ago, ‘ceptin he was handsome as could be in his black suit and tall hat. Looked tired. Lord a-Mighty, I was wishing I could just bring him back home with me for a few days. I know’d what Abe needed, all the way to a hard ache in my heart. He come even closer and I look round me at the hysteria, as if a fire was offin somewheres. Them folks were seeing Abe as he was, it come off him, seeing him up there. They know’d Abe’s heart, just meeting his eyes. The Lord had no place for my aches with what He was having Abe to do. So it must be, Billy. So it must be. 

“Abe was waving and smiling for all them people dumbstruck for his attention, knowing he carry their hopes to end slavery, just as I know’d it back when he come home from New Orleans. His carriage amble its way upon us, where Abe stood up and speak to his driver. Driver pulled in the reins and begun barking up ahead for the others to stop else the whole parade come apart, which got them barking up ahead a them, and on up the line. Floats behind Abe had to stop a course, and the whole parade come to a halt with no one but Abe figuring what was to be.

“Folks were cheering themselves purple when Abe stood up in his carriage. He wave them on with great courtesy, not lingering in my view as he disappear into the swarm. I had to set just then with the heat and all; it become too much. There was quite a stir. Folks were waving like wheat, so abundant, and the screams were piercing to a deaf old woman such as myself! I seen the crowd begun to part like Moses scooting off from the Pharaoh. I didn’t even have time to feel a plumb bit embarrassed, as I am now figuring back on it, to have all them people looking my way. Some folk were looking right on me as I never cared for from a stranger, but most were looking away from me, peering off in the opposite direction, whooping and a hollering as though the lot of them dropped a rock on their foot. I was too old for all this excitement; I recall thinking I might just keel over.

“Round then the crowd cleared aside some, and right in front of me, standing afore a hooting wild crowd, was my son. Brung all them people to their toes fetching a gander at him. There he was, Abraham Lincoln. He stood there with eyes for me only. Somehow, for all the percular challenge the Good Lord saddle him with for looks, he growed into a man to set your eyes on with comfort. His suit was rumpled up and dusty of course. Cared nothing for clothes and fashion cut no figure with him, nor color, nor stuff, nor material. Abe was careless about these things.