A Day in the Life (November, 1963) by Ben Rasnic

A typical Friday for the fourth-grade,
just turned nine, just returning
from a recess of marbles and tag

when one of my classmate’s mother,
hooked on valium and “As the World Turns”
delivered the news to our classroom
that Walter Cronkite had just delivered
to the world—
“President Kennedy is dead”

And for a moment the world
seemed to freeze on its axis
and on the faces of my classmates,
white and puffy as cauliflower
with shocked red weeping eyes.

That’s when the Principal bolted in
helter skelter and ordered the familiar
fallout drill–cowering beneath
rickety wooden desks
as if that would shield us,

as if Russian-made nuclear-tipped
ballistic missiles were no more lethal
than water balloons or the paper wads
from rubber band sling shots
we loved to launch against each other,

the insanity of which
mirrored by the actions of a lone
gunman crouched from the 3rd floor window
of the Texas School Book Depository

or the shadowy figures lurking
under cover of gun smoke clouds
permanently grazing
the grassy knoll.

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5 Responses to “A Day in the Life (November, 1963) by Ben Rasnic”

  1. this is such a poignant piece – so well-written and with such deep memories of days past, and all that those memories are linked to, now and forever. thanks! best, winnie

  2. wonderful!

  3. Patricia H. Rasnic Says:

    I think this poem is excellent and brings back many memories of that fateful day that all people will remember.

  4. Thank you Winnie and Barbara for your kind words. I’m very pleased that you enjoyed the piece. And a special thank-you to my 82 year-old mother for navigating her way through cyberspace to keep up with my writing!

  5. Jessie Ventura found E. Howard Hunt on his deathbead who confessed as being a part of codename “Big EvenT.” Even Papa Bush (who told the Warren Commision chaired by soon to be Pres. Ford that he couldn’t remember what he was doing that day)was involved. The military industrial complex/oil/dope money stiil fills the International bankers palying chess with wars and brianwashing the Harry Potter generation. They’ve already got to Obumer, too! Go back to sleep. Charles Plymell

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