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.