Treasure Island

Shirley Alexander

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

Memories Of 1963


The crop was heavy that year.
Rain had come in torrents,
and then left.

Green stalks and dried mud
became an endless blanket of white.
It was the beautiful land of cotton,
under a blue October sky.

The pickers stood nervous in line;
lean men with hungry eyes.
Loads of sacks and sweat
sat waiting to be weighed and paid.
Mama kept her sharp eye on a rusty scale,
paying bill by bill;
Thank you. Come again tomorrow.

Daddy loaded trucks for the gin.
Bales will pile high, he said.
It will be a good year, he said.
Christmas is dead ahead, he said.

The one thing we never saw coming,
was a nation swelled with grief
in the too near November.

Submitted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 02, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

For younger readers or anyone unacquainted with American history:
President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22,1963.

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