Testaments: John F. Kennedy

jfk.gifThis week, John Peeler will present “Testaments,” a series of poems that take the form of valedictory statements by each of the postwar presidents, in the poetic manner of Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology.

John F. Kennedy

Nixon was a fool to debate me.
I was no fool to take Lyndon:Texas made me President.
I little knew, in scarce a thousand days,
Texas made him President.
|Bay of Pigs: I wouldn’t bail them out.
They hated me and worked to take me out.
I never thought that much on civil rights,
but still, we had to stop the brutal wrongs.
And Vietnam?  Walt said we had to act.
Dean, Bob, Mac, et tu, Arthur, all, all said
we could not let it pass.
With that advice,
I poured the bitter draught
that Lyndon had to drink,
I would have done as he,
regretted full as much.

Published by the LA Progressive on October 28, 2008
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About John Peeler

John Peeler is a retired professor of political science at Bucknell University, specializing in Latin American and international affairs. His op-ed essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor and USA Today, as well as many in local papers in central Pennsylvania where he lives. He has had letters published in both the New York Times and the Washington Post.