A Mother’s Poem

by Phil Spaugy

young abe

“Young Lincoln” – by Norman Rockwell

The following poem was a favorite of my grandmother, Helen Taylor Ehemann, who at a young age instilled in me the love of reading and history. I owe her so much, and I am sure that Abe Lincoln felt much they same way about his mother, who died when he was but nine years old.

Nancy Hanks

If Nancy Hanks
Came back as a ghost,
Seeking news
Of what she loved most,
She’d ask first
“Where’s my son?
What’s happened to Abe?
What’s he done?”

“Poor little Abe,
Left all alone.
Except for Tom,
Who’s a rolling stone;
He was only nine,
The year I died.
I remember still
How hard he cried.”

“You wouldn’t know
About my son?
Did he grow tall?
Did he have fun?
Did he learn to read?
Did he get to town?
Do you know his name?
Did he get on?”

– Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet