My “rite of passage” from age 12 to nearly seventy
Boasts inclusion of a collection labeled “Kennedy”…
Magazines: LIFE, LOOK, NEWSWEEK, TIME, SATURDAY EVENING POST…
My mammoth old trunk filled with ghost after valorous ghost!
Bookshelves lined with biographies of Profiles in Courage
Starting with Honey Fitz — a patriotic entourage!
Dawning upon me a young handsome Senator named “Jack”;
His mother Rose and father Joe; siblings who had his back!
Touch football, PT 109, and just “Why England Slept”–
Memories and souvenirs lovingly browsed through and kept!
Moveable feast travelling from kid’s bedroom to attics
Then apartments and basements and dens while Father Time ticks…
Hints of mildew. Yellowing. Frayed edges, yet quite intact —
Throughout the years, amassing updates I’ve researched and tracked.
A Commander-in-Chief, brilliant, brave, a “real time” hero —
Vibrant, credible, rugged Irish roots, calm and mellow.
By his side stood his equal…independent Jacqueline —
Role model like no other — listened to as well as seen.
(“Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years”, I’d view one day,
Revived thoughts of snooping through my sister’s closet — at play!
Photographs, gowns, tweed jackets, jodhpurs, weathered riding boots,
Hand-written correspondence, sunglasses, pearls with smart suits!)
Studied high school French and bouffanted my thick, brown tresses,
Bought a pill box hat or two and sleeveless A-line dresses,
Played a lead part in our senior play in mid-November,
Welcomed an infant niece — Kelly Diane — I remember.
November 22, 1963
News anchor Walter Cronkite informed our stunned Civics class
This exceptional era into history must pass.
November 25, 1963
A tiny child bravely saluting. Lone riderless steed.
“Ask what you can do for your country…” The re-planted seed.
*~ Title from “Camelot”, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, 1960