Sunday, June 5, 2011

During the Assassinations

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

No comments: