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