Kent State, May 4, 1970 by John HainesPremonitory, her outstretched armsas she kneels in the spring sunlight,the cry on her lips that will notraise the boy lying dead before her.How often has that image returned,to fade and reappear, then fade again?In Rwanda, in Grozny, Oklahoma . . .Kabul, city of rubble and orphans.And now the Capitol streets are closing,an aroused militia at the gates –the fences scaled by a stray gunmanfor an enemy poised ever within.We are asleep in the blurred inkof our own newsprint, in the flickerof our nightline images; in the frayingvoices of distracted candidates.How long before that prone form rises,to stand, confused and blinkingon the sunlit campus field; then fallagain in the blood we cannot see . . And that long-held cry of hers awakens,to be heard at last over the stutterof gunfire – in the grassy echo of a town,a street, a house no longer there?
I would urge everyone to watch the PBS doc. (I know--but that's what it's on) "The Death of the 60's." What's extremely disturbing is how bullets were firedinto a dormitory at Jackson State (where two students were killed).Unfortunately, things have gotten worse, but we must continue to exercise our right to free speech--even more, today.