The Days of 1961

A poem by Kenneth Pobo


JFK sworn in. I’m five. My politics
can’t spell yet. Judy Garland comes back.
Again. We have Dutch Elm trees,
a leaf canopy over Villa Avenue. Our garage
smells of grass clippings. Bus fire-bombed
in Anniston. Build fallout shelters,
the president says. We have a basement.
Potatoes grow eyes down there. I’m scared
to go in. Roger Maris. 58-megaton bomb
in Russia. Purple sedum in Villa Park.
Eichmann sentenced. Ken, Barbie’s hot
boyfriend. Plastic. Boy George born. I ask
Mom where spaghetti comes from, kick
the screen door open, almost swallow
Black Jack gum.

Kenneth Pobo had a new book out in 2017 from Circling Rivers called Loplop in a Red City.  His chapbook, Dust And Chrysanthemums, will be out soon from Grey Borders Press.  Recent poems have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Broadkill Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and elsewhere.


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