before ‘64

i sat alone
listening to songs paul simon
wrote before ‘64

how long ago was “before ‘64”

in ‘63
the box below the crucifix
announced that jfk was dead

we all cried
we did not know politics then
we just knew a man

our teacher said we should pray
we did

then we were sent home
so that days later we could watch
as ruby shot oswald

Paul Cech has been writing poetry since 1970. Several of his poems have been published as Saturday Poems in the Pittsburgh- Post Gazette and the Thomas Merton Center of Pittsburgh has published several of his poems in NewPeople. Read other articles by Paul.