Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cluck Old Hen

My old hen is a good old hen
She lays eggs for the railroad men

Sometimes one, sometimes two
Sometimes enough for the whole damn crew

–trad.

Dealey Plaza-November 22, 1963

The motorcade moves stately and slow
through the oddly intimate space

Above, in the book depository window
a nail-thin shadow

The first shot disorients the driver–
and he slows down–even more

Then the second
Then the third

Finally he zooms under the overpass

There is a copper penny taste in your mouth
and a roaring in your ears
Your arms fly up to embrace
the awful change that is coming
Your vision narrows

The bleached world begins to tilt
A magpie in the tree by the road
A song you heard your mother hum
when she walked you to church

Soon will come the caisson and the drums
But right now, just the magpie
and the humming