Sunday, November 15, 2015
THAT DAY… November, 1963…
You prince and king and everybody's hero,
Idol of the poor,
Friend of intellect and all we knew to be
In our reborn post-war world.
Could any mature man or woman
THAT day . . . when
Ignominy raped our youthful joy?
Why . . . oh God . . . why????
The cry of Dallas town
Will echo down the empty alleys of time
As long as there is any wind
To blow empty papers along deserted city streets.
Until the last corn stalk
In western civilization upholds an autumn sky.
Until the last grave is dug
In what we call.
America . . .
Don't tell us, critic man, there are no
Messiahs of politics, no kings in democratic states. . .
Grown men were not ashamed to cry. . .
Their women kissed the dust with women's tears.
Women have no monopoly on weeping.
We know to live is to weep
Sometimes. . .
Everyone of us knew
A little part of ancient Greece.
Tragedy became large, wide-eyed,
Horribly personal. The terrible events were echoes,
Tapes and files and heart-rending photos
Of a world's pathos and grief we had
Always known, since our Virgilian days, our first touch by Euripedes.
Some part of each of us died
That day. Our own red blood spurted out in Dallas.
The ballads now sing "In Dallas-town…"
The elegies will sing a hundred years from now
And carry on the soft winds
God will there will be elegies…
In a world not quite all western…
A hundred years from now…
Thelma Jacqueline Straw