Poetry – The Irish-American Story + An Evil Day in Dallas 11/22/63

Linkedin Long Form – Submission #12

The following two poems were included when I compiled my book, The Irish-American Chronicle. Which is available at give away prices on Kindle, Nook and in soft cover from the Amazon Book Store and Create Space.

The Irish-American Story

James Francis Smith

We dug the coal mines and canals

Courted your daughters

Built the railroads

And fought the wars

Patrick Carr died in Boston’s Massacre

Sullivan, Moylan, and Scot-Irish filled Washington’s ranks

Commodore John Barry commanded the Continental Navy

Luke Ryan surpassed the deeds of John Paul Jones

Irish by the thousands fell at Fredericksburg

O’Rorke and O’Kane saved the Union on Cemetery Ridge

Patrick Cleburne died during his final charge at Franklin, Tennessee

Phillip Sheridan dogged Lee ’till Appomattox

Irish-Americans formed the Unions

Constructed the cities

Laid the highways

And educated the masses

Too-many-to count died in Flanders and France

Then came Guadalcanal, Normandy, and Iwo Jima

Irish music and laughter lightens the mood

For we are proud Irish-Americans,

and this is our story.

An Evil Day – November 22, 1963

Saw him but once, robust with youth.

Winter’s chill settled in the marrow of my bones,

His boyish smile cutting though the damp cold.

Lifting my three year old onto my shoulders

So he too could cherish the moment.

I knew such an opportunity would not come again.

America’s youth rejoiced … for all would be well.

One man, possessing the wisdom of humankind,

stood against the horror of world annihilation.

Unknown to those who sought hope for peace,

evil, spawned in the depths of hell, descended on Dallas.

The President’s been shot,”

Rang from the grassy knoll.

To my eternal dread, the rumor wasn’t unfounded.

Meals were haphazard and sleep forgotten.

Life ceased, as we gathered around static-burdened radios.

We canceled outings and stared at the drama unveiling on TV.

Mourning in our homes and our hearts,

The image of a vigorous JFK became forever-etched in our souls.

I did something unusual that Friday.

I went to church and prayed for my dead President,

Knowing such an opportunity would not come again.

James Francis Smith


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