Thursday, May 16, 2024

Ask not...

Ask not...

we were children 

at the cusp of puberty

junior high school beginning

childhood tossed behind us

like castaway pigtails, worn

out sneakers, dolls and toys -

A new president held us entranced

when he spoke with long vowels 

and wavy brown hair declaring 

the things that we were already 

taught at home.

He was clearly ours – we learned of Camelot

unsure whether he was creator or symbol

it mattered little – there was talk of moon

shots and stirrings of unity … and we were

twelve or thereabouts and not yet wearing

flowers in our hair but in our hearts – our

open hearts – so tender and open -so easily 

pierced and bloodied that afternoon when 

school  announced early dismissal 

of life that we realized was  

but a dream that we dreamt.

1 comment:

  1. You hit me right in the heart with these two versions of your poem, Pearl. What a moment, what a crushing moment that was. I was only in grade school. My mother and older brother came to pick me up, and my brother--who often told me tall tales to see if he could make me believe them--told me the President had been shot. I wouldn't believe him and finally asked our mother, our stoic, very conservative, emotionally unavailable mother--whether it was true and all she said was "yes" as if I'd asked if we were having casserole for dinner. Even at that young age, I understood that President Kennedy was special. I once went to see a woman who was supposed to be able to access a person's spirit guides. She had been highly recommended by a friend. She told me, "You were all right until you were eight. What happened when you were eight? It changed the whole trajectory of your life." (or words to that effect.) The only thing i could think of was this, the Kennedy assassination.