Beyond the Myths of Camelot and Mayberry

How JFK’s tragic death changed our view of reality

Our memories are in black and white
as we recall that silent night
when we ate supper without words
the day our leader died.

We cried when Walter Cronkite said
that JFK was really dead
and that our dreams of Camelot
were only make-believe.

A son’s salute. A horse-drawn hearse.
Our kingdom went from grief to worse
as Vietnam and racial war
gave way to riot gear.

What’s clear amid the blur of facts
is how a rifle (like an axe)
would separate the world we knew
from what it would become.

Our naïve nation came of age
as protests, free love, pot and rage
would prove our moral bankruptcy,
yet free us to be real.

For forty years we’ve grieved a loss
that catapulted us across
a chasm that had frightened us
from leaving Pleasantville.

Beyond the myth of Mayberry
we’ve seen what Opie couldn’t see…
that life ain’t fixed in half an hour,
but God is always there.