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this old bed

I sleep
on the bed
where my father
was born
one hundred years ago
this summer,
second child of Celeste
and August
amid the rocky hills
and pecan and flowing streams
in the little
Texas-German town of
Fredericksburg

I sleep
on the bed
that has slept my family
through two world wars
and multiple wars of lesser scope,
through eighteen presidents
of the United States,
some wise
some not
some equal
to the needs of their time
some not,
through musical
genreļæ½s
from ragtime to
hip-hop,
though prohibition
and bathtub beer,
through
the gilded age
the jazz age
normalcy
firebombing
atom bombing
getting bombed
in the suburbs
and getting sober
with AA,
through six presidential
assassination attempts,
death
in Dallas
death
on the launching pad
death
in near earth orbit,
kitty hawk
to a man on the moon,
the cries of the dead
from famine
from genocide
from indifference
of the ruling class
from incompetence
of the ruling class,
through Bull Connor
and his police dogs,
through King
and his dreams
and his death on a
motel balcony,
through the triumph
of good
and the reemergence
of evil,
the cycle played out
over and over again
in the days of yellow
journalism, through
Murrow and Cronkite
and Brinkley and Huntley
on radio and tv
and now new messengers
on the web
Wikipedia fact
and Wikipedia fancy,
truth swaying
on a tumbling pedestal,
lies flying in the wind,
opinonators
blowhards
conspiracists
and fools

through it all,
all the times of
reaping and
sowing,
the bed
has calmed the nights
through three generations
of sleep,
sex
and midnight dreams,
waiting now
for the final sleep
of this generation
and the lying
down to rest
of the next

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