April Of 68: Martin Luther King Is Dead
News preempted news, upstaging clean air,
forced and stained against each open doorway,
while our faces were awash in speeches that cured.
Then the shot! Penetrating around the world,
Everything blackened, down to the clothes.
Pride created the luminous black ties,
And black handkerchiefs, at the sad ready,
(my classmates all had them, grievous wardrobe)
accessorizing that week against the chest
of boyhood and fear: morose little soldiers.
Someone (and something) was most certainly dead,
and April would share, with death, thoughts of spring.
Night. Mother's voice, unlike I had ever heard,
Dread and urgency, her new concoction,
From window to window, changed room to changed room.
'Where is your brother? He's supposed to
be in by 10pm.' Darkness, a curfew,
(my brother, out, in teen oblivion)
jeeps, soldiers, a city unlike its lit, wide self.
Heavy blood, shed for life's own heaviness:
the father of us, alive in the caustic crowds,
drank the podium pleasantries, food of leaders,
near dead, but soon wholly dead on the whole of night,
and warm laps where bleeding heads are held.
For me, a church boy, the New Testament, my story,
it was Judgement Day sweeping other days.
Looking toward the sky; expecting wrath,
I'm unprotected by deism, the doubter's gem.
Nothing comes of guns but more guns. Smoke hurts:
smoke of insolent fire, we knew what it was,
in our dreams which lingered, long, like new jewels
from fresh caves - new and with a bemused shine.
Baltimore: never so much a fearsome scene;
to a boy, a world was growing, reaching toward
fiery doors; the year of heroes and holes.
That boy put his head in his mother's apron:
strings were like the ties that bound dead heroes.
Glimmer of damage, of the hurt, crystal-shaped,
but felt, coldly and against these faces,
settled on middleclass blocks. Pictures, dour,
of those old blocks: what has died, lives
magnanimously, in wind, in tears, and chimes,
lost chimes, lost sounds, noted by desolation.
We were not political, just a family
(safe, we thought, on placid Annellen Road)
drenched in media's blood and perceptions,
splattered and spayed, transformed by the scene:
a decade of martyrs, falling like dark rain.
Lamont Palmer's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (April Of 68: Martin Luther King Is Dead by Lamont Palmer )
Did you read them?
- Seconds In Prison, Naveed Akram
- The Light Brigade Charge, John F. McCullagh
- Farewell Forever, Sacha Hayes O'Grady
- Orphans, Nassy Fesharaki
- An Atheist on Sunday, Donal Mahoney
- Remember me, micheal john
- For God and Country, John F. McCullagh
- Smoking is Injurious to Health, Aftab Alam
- While crying, let me smile, gajanan mishra
- Butterfly's Flight, Steve Kittell
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967)