a found poem from Frederick Douglass’s 1866 essay for The Atlantic,
“A Treacherous President Stood in the Way”
No cloudflung shadows can obscure
the way of a country torn & bleeding, rent.
Whether at court-house, school-house,
cross-road, in doors and out
no evil is entirely unmixed.
Once in grace is always in
grace; these shattered & over-
thrown began with a clean slate.
A scandalous & shocking
waste of blood & treasure—
men who deliberate with daggers,
vote with revolvers,
do not even conceal their deadly
of the country that conquered them,
victory over treason.
like all other great systems of wrong,
was founded in the depths
of human selfishness.
Discern through the glitter
& dazzle of present prosperity
the dark outlines of
A treacherous president stands in the way,
leans to the side of error.
War begins where reason ends.
The deadly upas tree must be
Make clean work of it.