Eternal flame at John F. Kennedy’s gravesite
This past week many news articles and TV specials have featured memories of President Kennedy on the fiftieth anniversary of his death. My debut book, CRAZY, being released by Eerdmans in Fall 2014, is set in 1963. The assassination of President Kennedy had a profound effect on me personally, as well as my protagonist, Laura Walberg. In the book, Laura’s sister has just lost a baby and Laura’s mother teeters on the brink of another bipolar episode. This excerpt depicts the impact of a national tragedy on an already fragile household.
Diane, Beth and I meet at the lockers
and walk out together.
Our breath forms little puffy clouds
as our nervous chatter hits the cold, crisp air.
On any other day, bets on the first
snow might have been the talk.
Is he alive?
Is he dead?
How did it happen?
Who did it?
Everyone is anxious to get home,
turn on the TV and get the details
that have so interrupted
our morning, our lives.
I picture Beth walking into the warmth
of her cluttered house, Mrs. Watson
checking on something sweet baking
in the oven before sitting down
in front of the TV with an unfinished
sewing project in her lap.
I imagine Mrs. Vance’s planning
for the Girl Scout banquet
or her progress on one of Diane’s
newest outfits will be interrupted
while she tunes in the TV.
I wish I could follow either of them
to their homes that won’t threaten to implode
under the weight of such terrible news.
about how much tragedy
Hey READERS, we would love to hear from you.
Is your MIND FULL of old thoughts or new?