Repeated History

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I’m molding into a storyteller with age,
but not without listening to how my mother
watched the world shift and write chapters.
She was working in an office
for Bell South when she prayed
after the Challenger incident;
home, hearing what they found
under Gacy’s house; raising
me while I was too young to know what
was happening in Waco
or Oklahoma
or other places that took over the 90s.

She can,
I can’t remember many events without
iPhones and constant coverage to flood us
with the new panic before we could digest the last.
Emotions seemed much more innocent,
too raw before millennial buzz gave us
numb stares, attention deficits.
It was life like the way her father, a farmer dressed
In rough hands and a stoic mouth, told her
the gravity of Kennedy with tears.

But generations after the last seem to start
all over again. Decades later, I was in school
in September, alerted by stern voices
and breaking news on every channel.

Like her,
I was young–“what’s a terrorist attack?”
and other questions.
Like her,
I wasn’t pushed into a new era
until I found her clutching Kleenex
in the living room.
Like her,
I’m a wide-eyed witness, most likely
to pass around vivid images when wisdom sets.

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