|While Woodrow Wilson Danced
By Pat Barone
Between the Kaiser and the English King,
Bluebell Ryan, my mother, was only four,
her nurse's uniform splattered with blood,
When President Wilson (her brother Tommy)
tried to kill the Kaiser (brother Cuthbert) with
a carving knife. Before Gram called the doctor,
she used the wool she'd rolled for 'Over There'
on Cussie's leg, which mended with a scar.
Meanwhile Edith Wilson sheared and gave
the Red Cross fleece from the flock of sheep
munching the White House lawn, thus sparing
her yard men for war behind the President,
her Woody, a former pacifist who prosecuted
pacifists, so he'd be free to broker peace to make
the world a safe to lock democracy.
Vice President Tom Riley Marshall's mam
wanted us to fight the bloody English, who
crushed the Easter rising in Dublin.
With Wilson stricken by apoplexy,
the pusillanimous V.P., fearing his own power
as much as his mother's, didn't curb Edith,
who censored her husband's affairs of state,
refusing a British envoy, whose aide made
light of her. Countries splintered; Congress
defeated Woody's noble League of Nations.
Still, the gentle, dreaming souls who sailed
for freedom, kept on coming, never mind
the Nativists ahead, the Black and Tans behind.