John Brown has dinner in Concord with Emerson, Thoreau & others

Michael Ansara
| poetry


Red-blooded roast beef, ham, haunch
          Of venison, creamed corn, custard,
                 Claret , it did not matter.

They ate they knew not what;
          They craved the release of risk,
                 The certainty of iron.

Slicing through bone, parting
          Gristle, severing muscle,
                 Sins, slavery; they could not stop

Looking, listening, imagining themselves
          At his side in Pottawatomi,
                 The blood release; escaping

The prison of the mind: they wrote,
          They fought …..over words, they thought
                 Tonight that they did nothing, nothing,

Even the small comforts and joys
          The armchair by the fire
          The walk in the woods
          The pond

The meek inherit only what the strong
          Shape; the polite only preserve.
          Wide eyes, ice blue eyes, thin

          Here is iron, here is steel forged
          In the fire of epic biblical rage.

They wiped their mouths; put down
          Their double damask napkins determined
                 Never to return to what they had been before
                         Dinner had been served.

Michael Ansara came late to writing after many years as an organizer, owning three businesses, and co-founding Mass Poetry. He is currently working on both a memoir and a first book of poems.

Small God
Cartoons in Red and Blue