The first of three went
down in Dealey Plaza
in the back seat
of an open 1961 Lincoln
Continental: number 7,
but placed second
in the mixed-up lineup
heading out from Love Field.
Over our school's PA system,
the principal subbed the news
for delivery of his usual commands
for A-bomb drills we obeyed
by doubling up tight in the space
below our desktops.
I'd turned 11
just twenty days before.
The second, a man of God
awarded a Nobel Peace Prize,
said his last words by 6:01 p.m.
on a concrete balcony in Memphis.
It was April, and spring,
the fourth day, and what happened
at the Lorraine Motel that evening
later set Washington, D.C., on fire.
His dream of a promised land
shattered. The mountain still rose.
The last spoke soon
after of the mindless menace
of violence in America. That June
that same year, high-fiving
his way through a food service
pantry, the California Democratic
Primary finally behind him, he took
three bullets, a fourth just grazing
his jacket. His killer, serving life,
claims no memory.
More than forty years since the third,
and that is how I remember them.
© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
I wrote this poem for Carry On Tuesday, which each week provides a prompt that participants are to use wholly or partly in an original poem or prose piece.
The prompt for Tuesday, January 18, consists of the closing sentence of the 1950 film The Glass Menagerie, adapted from the play by Tennessee Williams (1911-1983): And that is how I remember them . . . . Go here to read the rest of the sentence and to watch a scene from the movie.
To read other Carry on Tuesday contributors' poems or prose for Prompt #88, or to add the link to your own piece, go here.
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