On the Occasion of Robert Kennedy’s Assassination, 49 Years Ago Today

Bobby Kennedy

49 years later, like a ladder left in the attic

I once shook Bobby Kennedy’s hand on Main Street

catty-corner from the Sears & Roebucks where I had once

seen Annette Funicello pitching Kenmore appliances

(looking like yesterday’s forgotten pancake make-up)

about three blocks from where I guess I was conceived and

was born and grew up as innocent of  history as the next.

Yesterdays like peanut shells on a barroom floor.

He was standing on the back seat of a white Impala

convertible with the top down coming out of the

negro ghetto, held upright by big black guys who

kept him from falling out of the car as he leaned

sideways (he wasn’t a big man) to shake our hands.

Hope wasn’t something you even heard about in church

in those days, but he was smiling this goofy real smile.