Honestly, 6’4” Abe would have been a superstar center
in Dale, Indiana, which is what that little town
is named now, but was Elizabeth
when Abe worked on a farm outside there 
and was 16 and sowed instead of shot
because there were no courts or hoops, 
no Hoosiers or Boilermakers,
no NBA early entry,
instead became one of the most honored 
All-Star presidents in our history.

No basketball then,
but gangly Abe could horseshoe with the best of them,
long arms stretch toward the stake,
long legs bullet the kickball at the goal, 
big thumbs snap a marble true,
kids terrified when they called Red Rover.

No, had Doc Naismith
invented the leather ball 
and peach baskets game back then,
Young Abe would have dunked
instead of speechified,
dribbled instead of traveled,
buck boarded to other little towns,
crushed opponents with his height
not his tongue. 

Abe didn’t win on the court,
but in the courtroom.
In the Capitol
dead from a bullet
shot because Booth
couldn’t stand his team
to lose.

Originally Published in Broadkill Review