Tribute in Rain

November 29, 2013
By

This poem is written by Marilyn Tenenoff, who helped to organize the COPA conference, and is inspired by the events on November 22 in Dallas this year. She is a poetess and author of several books of poetry.

Tribute in Rain

for John Fitzgerald Kennedy
November 22, 2013

Memory has its own momentum
and on this day
nothing can stop it ~
not the icy rain
not a barrage of photographs
not a cataclysm of SWAT teams
not even
hordes of narcissistic commentators
chattering into microphones

This tribute
happens
by its own compulsion
at the time of
that horrific onslaught
It happens
despite
the chill wind
the orange barricades
the counter intelligence agents
the fanatics
the bizarre lottery
even the snipers on the tenth floor
of the Hotel Lawrence

For on this day
in the slow blur of history
a President died
and his wife mourned
His dream was postponed
Evil rejoiced
and his shattered skull and her pink hat
were etched
on the tablet of time

This memory is irrepressible
so the tribute happens anyway
Crowds come from around the globe
despite
fifty years
of coordinated distraction
despite
the Mayor’s edict
the drooling guard dogs
the lunatic histrionics
the mockery and triviality
and even the ingenious claims
of solution

Memory is a force of nature
but so is Truth
The deluge
of re-examined evidence
persists
and the ghosts
in the hallways of Dallas
will not rest
until the questions are answered
and the blue glint of betrayal
is traced to its source

In a whirlwind of controversy
and name-calling
this tribute happens anyway
Nothing can stop it ~
not the mounted police
not the security checkpoints
not maudlin souvenirs
not threats of incarceration
not disinformation
not even fifty years
of
carefully-calculated
Bread and Circuses

For on this day
in the slow blur of history
a President died
and his wife mourned
His dream was postponed
Evil rejoiced
and his shattered skull and her pink hat
were etched
on the tablet of time

One Response to Tribute in Rain

  1. PEARL KLAUSNER
    December 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MY HEART FILLED WHEN I READ YOUR POEM.

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