There he is, finally, among the Elect,
Chiseled into stone atop Mt. Rushmore,
Just as magnificent as those other fellows,
The Big Boys—Washington, Jefferson, TR and Lincoln—
Even more magnificent, he says to himself, and says again.
To eclipse the stone-grey solemnity of their faces,
He orders his own rocky features to be fully colorized:
Hair more golden than amber waves of grain,
Killer eyes of permafrost blue, burnt sienna for the cheeks,
Lips cherry red and rounded into a sphincter-like orifice,
To perpetualize his denunciation of the O-dious Adam Schiff.
Perfect! he concludes, gazing up at his likeness in stone.
Except it isn’t perfect.
Something is awry on the mountainside:
While his likeness is being gouged out of a cliff,
The other four Presidents are turning their backs on him.
Henceforth visitors to Mt. Rushmore will see only
The back of Washington’s head,
The backs of Jefferson’s and TR’s heads,
And the back of Lincoln’s head, shaking in disbelief.
Pilgrims peering up in search of presidential grandeur
Will see only one face, the sneering face of Donald Trump,
Carved out of rock by a knowing stone mason’s hand,
Perfectly petrified, petrified perfectly. ❏
David Rubin is a retired faculty member from the College of Public and Community Service, UMass-Boston, who continues writing fiction, memoir, and an occasional poem or two.
Photo by Brandon Mowinkle