Christ’s editor becomes Christ’s martyr:
band the newspaper columns black
for Elijah P. Lovejoy, who fired back.
They threw his first three presses into the river.
They came with guns, stones, hatchets, hammers;
they came with whiskey and a mind to attack
something as they felt attacked, to break
Lovejoy’s words before they got to paper.
No one was arrested; it wasn’t a riot.
At the wharf, the smashed-up pieces of his fourth
press. Although he signed his letters till death
or victory, the movement hadn’t thought
it could happen to a journalist.
Somebody had to be the first.