V. AMERICA: A Flip Book

by Carmen Mason

I remember Search
for Tomorrow, Ernie Kovacs
Pinhead and Foodini
benevolent, laughing times

years later with my first child
still resting inside me
I watched the President and his
pink pill-boxed lady
spilling and scrambling
through blood, then
Ruby getting Lee Harvey
in the gut, again and
again, a flip book
repeated on every
channel through the
day and night

fifteen years later the
Amazing Wallenda weaving, then
plummeting again and
again onto a San Juan taxi cab
his granddaughter, the crowds
and the city buildings staring
all day long, all night

So I could only
sit still and give him
my unimportant tears:
Robert Kennedy? son
who sat alone
forgotten in his motel room
switching from daddy
to daddy to daddy waving
waving and waving

then shaking some hands
then falling and falling
again and again
and again, the boy
watching him fall
through the day
through the night


I have been writing poems all my life. They are sighs of joy, cries for help, testaments of love and loss, refuge and epiphany. They surprise, console and astound me. Just like friends and strangers do.