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  •  22 November 1963... (6+ / 0-)

    22 November 1963 is a date that is seared in my consciousness. I can still smell the crisp Oregon air of that day. I can still see my school chums try to make sense of it.

    I was asked in 1978 what my memories were of that day. I had attempted other ways of describing it, but the following poem finally “synthesized” it well enough for me. It has appeared in several small and academic presses. In 1983, it won the Roger and Ruth Suva Prize and was the featured poem in the American Poetry Anthology for that year.

    Age of Dallas


    Justice Putnam

    What did it mean
    To be young
    In the Age of Dallas?

    To come home
    To the farmhouse?

    Ironing strewn
    Across the living room
    Mother crying
    In front of the T.V.

    Re-runs of Dealey Plaza.

    I remember someone
    Mentioning Camelot
    Third-grade in Corvallis
    My teacher came from Austin

    But the School Secretary
    Came from the
    Principal’s office

    Met our teacher
    At the classroom door.

    Flushed cheeks

    We were filed
    Onto the school bus

    Solemnly driven home.

    © 1978 by Justice Putnam
    and Mechanisches Strophe-Verlagswesen

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 09:43:41 PM PST

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