Sunday, November 9, 2014
Kent State 1970
While doing research for the novel I now am writing, King of Soul, I read James A. Michener's non-fiction book entitled
Kent State: What happened and why. (Random House, 1971)
Toward the end of it, here are some thoughts that came to me:
Oh, the insanity of those days,
shrouded in tear gas haze:
our dutiful young Guards, slogging in sweat-drenched gear,
moved against fellow-students erupting in fear.
They eyed each other across grassy knolls
while the crowd mocks and the clanging bell tolls.
Our ragged nation was ripping apart at the seams,
as confusion conspired to assassinate our dreams.
Sandy and Allison, Bill and Jeff didn't know;
they never looked back when the bullets laid them low.
The shock and the awe, the plan and its flaw
could offer no reason to explain which law
had judged them worthy of martyrdom, sentenced to death:
a sinnish twist of fate fired right, but hit on the left.
Things were never the same after that.
The movement waned thin; the bitter got fat;
America was laid low when those four lives got spent
on that deadly tragic Mayday at Kent.