December 12, 2013

Tom Chandler


Even now more eloquent
than those long April twilights
we’ve spent with our American cousin,
where over and over the finest actor
of his time catches a spur on the bunting,
limps to the fresh horse waiting forever
by the backstage door and yet again
a nation mourns, pushes grimly on
through the centuries watching you ride
that stone throne, your face a country
of sharp angles where irony
meets sadness, staring out.

from Rattle #40, Summer 2013


Tom Chandler: “I visited Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, last year. Like everyone, I had been fascinated by the events of April 1865 ever since boyhood. Seeing how small and human-sized the theater is, and seeing the blood stains still on Lincoln’s chair in the Presidential box, seared the reality of that violent night into my heart. I knew I would have to write about it in order to know it clearly.” (

Rattle Logo