Saturday, November 23, 2013



On a perfectly clear Fall day, heading back to
Fort Monmouth, I watched as other cars on
The Garden State Parkway veered onto the
shoulder and stopped, the drivers not getting
out, just sitting there. At the toll booth the man
said The president's been shot. As I drove on,
more cars pulled off the road. I could see their
drivers weeping. Back in the barracks we stayed
in the rec room watching the black and white
TV, tension in the room like static. When they
named Lee Harvey Oswald, I watched the
black guys hold their breath, hoping that meant
redneck, not spade, and every muscle in their
faces relax when he turned out to be white.

(C) 2013 Michael Lally


Anonymous said...

I heard Oswald jokes at basketball practice. Didn't like that. Didn't say nothin". Felt like someone in my family, very close, had died.

Bill L

tpw said...

Yes. Outstanding sonnet.

tpw said...

That day, so unforgettable. Outstanding sonnet (as most of yours are).