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.
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