Tuesday, July 19, 2016
New Poem--about the Spring of 1970
Sorry I have been absent so long from this blog. Maybe I was in jail; or maybe in a mental institution; or maybe I was in Montana with my family. What in the world triggered this poem, 46 years later?
Last Month at Notre Dame—May 1970
The world being blown apart, spring of 1970,
Cambodian Invasion, endless bloody Vietnam War,
Kent State and Jackson State massacres,
Student strike at Notre Dame where we . . .
The privileged sat on a bank above St. Mary’s Lake
Or off-campus at a friend’s party, strumming our guitars,
Singing “The Children and the Flowers” or “For Baby for Bobby”
Or Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.”
Steve didn’t know it, but he was going to Vietnam to die in a helicopter crash;
Me and Chris to a Cincinnati ghetto and a Peacemakers’ commune;
Others to Mexico, graduate school, one brilliant friend to a job as a garbage collector,
Many to the military, yet far from the horror of Southeast Asia.
I remember that May: Mike, Chris, Tim,
Carol, Julie, Vangie, Rene, Tom,
Warren, Dick, Steve, John , many more,
Our last month as school comrades,
In the beautiful safe womb of Notre Dame,
Eager yet afraid of what awaited us
Outside the gates.
Bob Coughlin / July 19, 2016