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Macy’s 1963 Parade


Nobody remembers this
but three days after Arlington
the show went on, to not disappoint
millions of children. A full schedule
of pro gridiron contests had been played that weekend.

Our Judith and Sam murmured
over the drumbeat of black and white ranks
moving between metropolitan police
and national guardsmen lining curbs.
The volleyed gams of the Rockettes
flashed in the dooryard of winter.

Portly, fedoraed Jack Ruby
appeared first, shadowing the avenue,
followed by a bareheaded Oswald
at one point veering toward sixth floor windows.
Dress-uniformed Officer Tippit prepared us
for the aircraft carrier-length composure
of the lost executive.

Then came the empty wheelchair
of an imaginative republic,
steered by a white-gloved mourner
who looked neither right nor left,
remaining perfectly expressionless.

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