July 15, 1881

 

Garfield:

 

I wish today that I were where

"the cool breezes from the lake make

the temperature very comfortable"

but that is not to be at this time

 

 

Guiteau:

 

Though it is quite hot here in the jail,

the heat cannot prevent me

from writing my autobiography

 

 

 

July 16, 1881

 

Garfield:

 

Today,

for the first time,

I was able to raise myself,

albeit with a little assistance

I was not able to stay up long,

but I consider it the first step

of the journey to recovery

 

 

Guiteau:

 

When I am released from jail,

it will be a short journey to fame

 

 

 

September 14, 1881

 

Garfield:

 

Today I was put in the recliner again,

and this time I was able 

to sit for an hour-and-a-half

I said to the doctor

"This should have commenced weeks ago"

 

He did not respond to my comment

 

 

Guiteau:

 

I sit

and sit

and sit

here in jail,

waiting all these many weeks

for my fame and honor to commence

 

[These poems are from  Eighty Days, a work consisting of dramatic monologues of varying lengths (these two are short) by James Garfield and Charles Guiteau for each of the 80 days from July 2, 1881 when Guiteau shot Garfield through September 19, 1881 when Garfield died.]

 

Michael Ceraolo

 

Bio:  Michael Ceraolo is a 60-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press, and 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) and several shorter-length books published, and has a third full-length book, Euclid Creek Book Two, forthcoming from unbound content press.