Brian Henry

The Oklahoma Purchase
May 13, 2012 Henry Brian

The Oklahoma Purchase


William Howard Taft wouldn’t drink before dark.
John Tyler fainted when he teetered off his horse.
Millard Fillmore never returned that silver dollar.
Woodrow Wilson broke down only in public.
Oatmeal made Dwight Eisenhower nauseous.
The first man in space was Grover Cleveland.
James Monroe spent his dotage in a haberdashery.
The furthest Jimmy Carter could see
was into the eyes of James Madison.
Andrew Jackson invented the scratching post.
Warren Harding could square a circle.
George Washington loved his pony.
Herbert Hoover sanded his own table.
William Jefferson Clinton carried a heavy load
all the way to Grover Cleveland (the first, not his clone).
John Quincy Adams pulled the plug.
George Bush rocked himself to sleep.
Lyndon Johnson forgot a thing or two,
which much amused William Henry Harrison.
John F. Kennedy caulked a mean caulk line.
Thomas Jefferson could start a fire with his bare hands.
Andrew Johnson loved to hop over Martin Van Buren.
George W. Bush preferred a gibbous moon,
unlike Calvin Coolidge, who liked it new.
Theodore Roosevelt snored so loudly
he woke up Barack Obama.
The only friend of Franklin Pierce
was a forlorn Ronald Reagan.
Abraham Lincoln could carry a hog in each arm,
while Gerald Ford could barely lift a finger.
Benjamin Harrison never spanked his children,
nor did the otherwise stringent James Buchanan.
William McKinley refused to watch television.
James Knox Polk opened his own mail.
Zachary Taylor strode these halls like a god.
Nothing much occurred to Rutherford B. Hayes.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt invented aspirin.
Chester Arthur borrowed more sugar than his neighbor.
Harry S. Truman walked with a limp,
which alarmed the usually placid John Adams.
Ulysses S. Grant liked to knit during idle moments.
The saga of James Garfield began in Nova Scotia.
Richard Nixon would do anything for a milkshake.

Brian Henry is an American poet, translator, editor, and literary critic. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.