I had been to lunch in Third House. It was a warm spring day, just the sort of day to leave lunch early and walk in the sunshine. I ambled over to Second House and plopped down in front of the TV. I had spent my sophomore year here and I had always loved it – it felt like home more than any other dorm. However, that day I was a senior, an upperclassman of 17 years of age. While at Dobbs’ I had lived in each of these Queen Anne houses. Today I lived in First House. They were rickety and old, painted a dull boarding school gray. None the less I was quite comfortable for they represented home for me for three of my four years at school. I comfortably seated myself on a couch in front of the television. It might no longer be my dorm, but it still felt cozy and I felt confident, that day so long ago. That confidence must have come from some of that upperclassman swagger that one acquires as they move though their grades (although, to be honest, I didn’t have much swagger). It felt strange as I did not have many confident days in my youth.
wild grey geese above
flew in perfect formation
chaos left behind
I flipped on the black and white TV, there was no color in those days. “Oh My God. What was happening?” I was in an instant state of shock. President Kennedy had been shot right in from of my eyes – in his limo in Dallas, Texas. “Was this true?” There was growing chaos everywhere on the television, then this horrific event seemed to ebb out of the television and blanket me. It was thick and dark. I knew that I must get away. I had to get up, go back to the lunchroom and tell of the shooting. I thought of our beautiful first lady and what her sadness must be like. It was so hard to move. I made myself leave.
high above in the maple
a chick all grown up
I ran back to the lunchroom and shouted out the news. I do not remember another thing that afternoon. I do remember crying myself to sleep that night filled with such emptiness, dread and a sense of loneliness. Of late, I have been reading a good deal about the Kennedys. I will never believe that this assassination evolved out of the crazy thoughts of one lone Soviet sympathizer. I also suspect that the full truth of those moments in Dallas that November 22nd of 1963 will not be known by the public within my lifetime.
shells upon a beach
dry cool windy autumn day
creation of sand
LIZ RICE-SOSNE a.k.a. Raven Spirit (noh where), perhaps the oldest friend to Bardo, is the newest member of The Bardo Group Core Team. She is also our new Voices for Peace project outreach coordinator and our go-to person for all things related to haiku. She says she “writes for no reason at all. It is simply a pleasure.” Blogging, mostly poetry, has produced numerous friends for whom she has a great appreciation. Liz is an experienced blogger, photographer and a trained shaman. We think her middle name should be “adventure.”
5 thoughts on “November 22, 1963, Lives in Memory”
I remember that day so well. I was in the third grade, and I had never seen a teacher cry, until Mrs. Moag, my teacher, told us what had happened. When I went home from school, my mom was crying too. You have captured the pain and confusion of that terrible day. One of the hardest things to accept is not knowing. But sometimes the past gives up its secrets. I remember my mother telling me that the Titanic would never be found because it was too deep, and we didn’t have the technology to recover it, even if we had the technology to find it.
I don’t think we’ll every know the truth either and all the speculations is irritating and sad. It seems as unreal an event to day as it did when it happened. You’ve captured it well, Liz. Thank you!
In Canada, a customer came into our bank and announced that Pres. Kennedy had been shot. We were stunned, silent and staring. “Who…?” When I went home and saw the news on our B&W television, I marveled over the actions of Jackie. Did she ever wonder if another bullet was coming? His influence was far reaching – and still is.
Thank you. Hugs.
Thanks so much, I will never, never, forget.