Dealey Plaza, November Again

The live oak still lives in the birthplace of Dallas,
ramified high enough, fifty falls after,
to block a bead drawn from the sixth-story window
at Houston and Elm. Why call it story?
Says here originally a row of windows
painted with pictures, but what’s the story
of a white-gloved hand grabbing the arm
that jerked up convulsed? What a day.
The sun crusades across the sky
despite the dark attacking early
as highs hit eighty, but does it count
as Indian summer without a prerequisite
killing frost? Doesn’t say here
why Indian summer, and as for pictures
a thousand words each, no way
any picture snapped at the scene
ever beat assassination
lisped by a six-year-old
missing two teeth. What a day.
No wonder he wanted the top down.

Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Generals’ Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Author of several volumes of verse, he is general editor of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). Cushman has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Greece, and Rogers Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library.LSU Press will publish his next book of poems, Keep the Feast, in 2022.
Stephen Cushman

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Author: Stephen Cushman

Stephen Cushman is Robert C. Taylor Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His most recent book is The Generals’ Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Author of several volumes of verse, he is general editor of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). Cushman has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Greece, and Rogers Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library. LSU Press will publish his next book of poems, Keep the Feast, in 2022.