A Sunday in December

As the curtain descends on Act One.
Bright lights illuminate the gloom in the auditorium.
My feet reach for the hard floor
and I leave the comfy, plush seat.
Into the winter’s bleak weak sunlit marble hall
I muse over my sister’s performance
As the lead in the high school play
(She’s only in her first year!)
The lace collar on my party dress tickles my neck
As I carefully examine my shiny, new Mary-Janes
For reprimanding scuffs.

The buzz about me becomes accented with
Discernable comments:

“…It’s in Hawaii…”
“…at 8am this morning…”
“…on a Sunday, too!…”

I hear my mother say
As she dabs her eyes with a hanky
I touch her hand
Feeling something has happened that’s
Beyond my childhood comprehension
She bends down to my size for a face-to-face hug.

“War! War!….Pearl Harbor attacked!”

Echoing in my ears as I think
What about my wonderful, big brothers and ….
How can such a beautiful name like ‘pearl’
Mean something so scary as war?

Lois Keating Learned
written about December 7, 1941
Southbury, CT 2011

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