Shirley Alexander

(12-05-1953 / Somewhere under heaven, Georgia, USA)

Do You Remember Fireball Roberts?


Sometimes we connect;
unexpected moments of touching.
I think you never remember
the pain of a young girl who knew.
I remember. I still know.
My own mother looked away.

We sit quiet today.
Too much has happened for discussions.
I am seeing a day in my twelfth year.
It was a Thursday in July.
Nineteen, sixty-four.

I had written something just for you, Mama.
You put it aside. Read later.
Unread, it sat.
I threw it crumbled into the fireplace
a week later.

I remember.
It was the same day that race car driver died.
Who was he?
A dangerous name, an explosive ending.
Oh well. Leave it.
We are what we are.
Today, memories can sit quiet.

Neither of us has spoken;
I wonder where your thoughts are walking.
You stir suddenly and look me square.

You speak slowly, with an unsure voice;
'Do you remember Fireball Roberts? '

We connect.
Somewhere, in the shadows of my past,
A twelve year old girl has been seen,
forty-two years later.


© Shirley Alexander

Submitted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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Comments about this poem (Do You Remember Fireball Roberts? by Shirley Alexander )

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  • James Ronan (4/11/2009 12:24:00 AM)

    Sensitivity, it seems all young people want and need to be heard and understood. If we just hat the time and sensitivity to hear them. Good poem.
    Jimmer (Report) Reply

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