by Frederick Michaels
Sweat rolls off the bridge of my nose.
I can taste a salty Main street flavor
as I catch it's 90° on my tongue tip
and share the brief liquidity with my lips.
It's just 25 minutes to the Lorraine,
but it surely feels like a long, hot way
from 1968 and the news on the TV.
I heard it plain then, but didn't feel it.
Comfortably unafflicted by deprivation,
cul du sac'd with like-minded faces,
insulated by middle class tunnel vision,
I was still numb and dumb from JFK in '63.
Now half a lifetime gone, the images
from my grainy black and white memory,
emotionless and a million miles removed,
snap into focus and I see all at once:
I am the hands on the rifle
I am the blood on the balcony
I am America unseen
behind a veil of indifference;
and as I peer through my view finder
I wonder how we do that to one another.
I wonder how we survive as men
and a bead of water drips down the lens.
Bio: Frederick Michaels writes from the low-stress environment of retirement in Indiana. His work reflects inspiration drawn from a tasty helping of personal insecurity, seasoned with savory words and events snatched out of the air in every day living. He maintains an ongoing love affair with history. His work has appeared in Flying Island, The Boston Poetry Journal, and Lone Stars Magazine, as well as in the anthologies Reckless Writing (2012 and 2013), and Naturally Yours.