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“Road Kill and More”

The past began to inch its way into the present,

Waking her more often from a sound sleep,

And prompted her to pick up her pencil and paper

To jot down fragments of those dreams for later analysis,

Road kill along the highway had sickened her,

And she would often avert her eyes,

From the blood stained snow of a recent kill.

Antelope were fair game while in search of food,

And so were the plentiful jack rabbits

Who scurried across the two-lane highway

Often to meet their fate.

During winter,

A thick blanket of snow often covered the landscape,

Yet the sky, so blue and unreachable,

Taunted her with its calmness.

The sun could not penetrate through the cold air

To provide her with any warmth,

So she was always cold and afraid,

She lived with fear those days.

The Cold War was making headlines

And the threat of a nuclear war

Hovered above her.

She dreaded getting out of bed

And played sick from work one day

So she could hide under the covers

And pretend the world was safe.

Talk centered round bomb shelters,

How to construct them,

And where to hide if a bomb were to go off,

Pamphlets were handed out at the office,

A glaring reminder that she wasn’t the only person

Scared out of her wits,

Propaganda stuck its head

Into every corner of her world,

Allowing her no peace.

Road kill – carcasses were everywhere.

Winter, cold, snow, freezing cold,

Where temperatures dipped below zero

How did the Eskimos handle winter?

They were certainly hardier than she.

She longed for spring,

For leaves on the quaking aspen trees

Which now leaned into each other

Naked and vulnerable,

Every blemish uncovered,

During the rawness of winter.

Back in camp,

Chinwag became stale and repetitious,

Coffee klatches were the rage

And a cocktail before dinner

Became a ritual in many households,

“No Man is an island entire unto himself,”

Declared the poet John Dunne,

And yet, the counterparts were there,

Until an earth-shattering tragedy

On Friday, November 22, 1963,

United the nation in shock and disbelief

Upon hearing that President John F. Kennedy

Had been shot and fatally wounded

In Dallas, Texas, while seeking re-election.

And the words from the Broadway musical,

“Don’t let it be forgotten,

That there was a spot,

For one brief, shining moment,

That was known as Camelot,”

Still echo to this day. – By Jean Hanfelt