"Let me tell you what I wish I knew, when I was young and dreamed of glory…"
- Washington to Hamilton from the play Hamilton
The Pride of Mount Vernon handed me his quill.
Pride. I know too much about pride –
or maybe not enough. Would I chase glory
if I was as sure of myself as I appear?
He tells me it’s history
watching to see how I will prove myself.
All I can feel are the eyes
of those who expect me to fail.
I imagine their faces
when I prove them wrong.
I don’t have to tell him that.
He knows. Says he was the same way once.
This seasoned veteran -
it’s hard to imagine him
as unskilled at his craft,
impatient to be better.
He is all patience now.
Analyzing maps and correspondence,
pointing out the strength of our resources,
and how to shore up what I have missed.
The Pride of Mount Vernon hands me his quill.
I follow his example,
and hammer out the rough edges,
seasoning the ink
with everything that flows in me.
This poem is linked up to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads, Tuesday Platform. Following the prompt I was inspired by the phrase, "The Pride of Mount Vernon" from the play Hamilton (the phrase actually appears in a different song, Right Hand Man). I always loved the strong bond of friendship and mentorship between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton depicted in the play. It would have been all too easy for the elder Washington to be dismissive of young Hamilton, but he helped Hamilton hone the best part of himself, to the benefit of the country.