During the Assassinations by Maxine Kumin
I took the cello to its lesson,
the cheerleader to the gym.
I was a sixties soccer mom
and when the bassoon needed
double reeds to suck on
I scoured Boston.
I bought red knee-highs for the cheerleader.
Skirts wide enough to straddle
the cello onstage.
Cacophony of warm-up, then
the oboe's A, every
good boy does fine, football
games with fake pompoms
siss-boom-ba and after,
gropings under the grandstands.
I went where I was called to go.
I clapped, I comforted.
I kept my eyes on Huntley and Brinkley.
During the assassinations
I marched with other soccer moms.
I carried lemons in case of tear gas.
I have a dream became my dream.
I stood all night
on the steps of the Pentagon.
With each new death
I added my grief
To the grief of millions
but always her pink suit
on the flat trunk of the limousine
and in her hand a piece of his skull.
"During the Assassinations" by Maxine Kumin, from Where I Live: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2010