The Death of a President

Remembering my reactions to the news from Dallas

A half a century has passed
since deafening and shocking gasps
were heard throughout all fifty states
that bleak November day.

“From Dallas,” Walter Cronkite said,
“The president’s been shot. He’s dead!
The victim of a sniper’s aim
has left us leaderless.”

It seemed as if my world stood still
although I could not get my fill
of non-stop news that chronicled
the nightmare of that day.

I still recall that long weekend.
I was eleven way back then.
But not too young to fully feel
the sting of corporate grief.

I watched as Oswald flinched in pain
and as we learned Jack Ruby’s name.
And though I went to Sunday School,
my mind was not on God.

The images on our TV
were black and white (ironically).
The brilliant colors of my world
had suddenly turned gray.

The simple view of life I’d had
was shattered by this glimpse of bad.
The death of John F. Kennedy
had opened my young eyes.

Fast-forward half-a-century
to where I look back soberly
and glimpse the day I first beheld
how evil stalks our land.