Thirty-three Down on the Bradley
You can ask people in this town
tied-up to Lake Huron, if they remember
seeing Shepard rocket into space,
or where they were when Kennedy was shot,
and they will tell you; but ask
them if they remember where they were
when the Bradley went down
and they will stare and go quiet,
remembering the shriek through the town
and how they were there,
all night, in their warm houses
the lake in the obsidian gale,
in their imagination,
watching the Bradley break open
like a box of matches and all
the husbands and fathers
tumbling off ice-shrouded two-story waves,
black and white, and silent.
Oh yes, they remember friends crying in school
and the sorrow that laid on the town, and they remember
the little town pulling close in and the weak spot
it left in their heart, for they had been marked.
Barbara Draper’s poems have been or are pending publication in The Talking Stick, The Aurorean, and Passagers where her poem received an honorable mention. She’s a long time Michigander, now living in Minneapolis. For fun she enjoys downhill skiing and playing with her granddaughters.