This Day In History

Three haibun:

I had been at lunch in Third House. I finished my lunch early and I had stopped by Second House, popped into the lounge and sunk into a chair to watch TV. I had spent my sophomore year in Second House and always loved it. However, that day I was a senior of 17 years of age and I lived one more dorm down the street in First House. These old houses, three Queen Anne’s each painted a dull boarding school grey are gone today.

the wild geese above
flew in perfect formation
chaos left behind

The television had been left on. What was happening? Oh my God. The President has been shot. I was in an instant state of shock and awe. Oh my God, did I see this take place? I cannot remember. At that moment I could not even find the words to express what I was feeling. A light had gone out. But it wasn’t just dark or darker, it was chaos, a chaos of the mind, the heart and the soul and of course chaos on the black and white screen in front of me. It was something terrible and it began a run of dark history for the USA.

woodpecker knocking
high above in the maple
a chick all grown up

I ran back to the lunchroom where I shouted out the news. I do not remember another thing that afternoon. I do remember crying myself to sleep that night filled with such emptiness, dread and a sense of aloneness. Lately I have been reading a good deal about the Kennedy’s. Today I am reading: “The Patriarch” by David Nasaw. I will never believe that this assassination was the work of one lone Soviet sympathizer. I also know that the real answers will not be made public within my lifetime. I cannot think of that day without tears coming to my eyes.

shells upon the beach
autumn loneliness
creation of sand

Is this an “Ode”? Maybe, maybe not, None the less It is posted at d’Verse. So, as usual I write my haiku. Then I remember a bit late, kigo use. I rewrite. Then I remember that there must be a “punch.” So I rewrite. I worked to keep them each relevant.

5 thoughts on “This Day In History

  1. This is fantastic to read – I, too, remember that day, and a few days later, the heartbreaking image of little John John saluting his daddy’s coffin. OMG. What I especially love about this poem is the counterpoint of the haiku – the birds (always dear to my heart) , and the closing one which ends with “creation of sand”, which might be a metaphor for how things have slipped down and sideways ever since. I, too, KNOW there were more people involved – how could someone so high up and far away hit someone right in the head – no one has ever explained the Grassy Hills shots to my satisfaction. But that is likely where the death-blow came from. Great write, kiddo. Wowzers! You took me back there.

  2. ahi have a hard time believing that we do not know who did this….surely we do but then it was kept quiet…it is an interesting controversy in that….the creation of sand in the last bit is a great touch….yes, i remembered yesterday….

  3. I’m so glad I found this…to see it through someone else’s eyes is to know the sorrow all over again. This was the beginning of the dark times, they are all around us now…but back then, how young, and alive, and full of hopes and dreams we all were.

  4. I appreciated your reflections, Liz. Yes, indeed this is a day that anyone who was alive then will always remember. You have really captured the mood of the times.

Your words of response are greatly appreciated.

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