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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Tribute from Butler, Pa.

J.F.K.
23 November 1963
Grief came flooding in
over every hill,
down all our streets
right into the heart of town,
the day the President was shot,
insisting that he lie in state
here with us
for three days and nights,
until they came
with a caisson,
behind which
a veiled mourner
with children walked,
taking him as we watched
out across the viaduct
and on up over
our steepest hill
until we lost them
from sight.

Then silence hung long over our town
until the morning the rains ceased
when we woke to sun
breaking through dark clouds,
and looking up we saw gently rippling Vs
against the emblazoned sky
and heard flocks of wild geese
calling down to us
to rise up, to carry on.

With spirits gladdened
we set to removing flowers
and the portraits they honored
from off the streets,
candles and lamps were gathered
from curbs and fences
and then we stripped the trees
of those long black ribbons
that during those days of grief
had been fluttering in the breeze.
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