The Sunday Poem: Jules Nyquist. . . Hyannis Port

Jules with Alicia Ultan on Viola

Hyannis Port


A seagull walks from sea to land

leaving footprints

on snow and sand in January.


The tide pushes in, breaking up the ice

and I walk on the beach

in boots and winter coat.

Buried shell in the sand

has no ringing, only silence.


Behind me is the JFK Memorial.

I am walking these same beaches of Nantucket Sound

as our 35th President who said:

“The new frontier of which I see is summed up not by what

I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them.”


I was a baby when he was assassinated

some Americans  remember that day with such clarity

it shortens their breath.

A lone gunman blamed, scapegoat

someone to quickly arrest and prosecute.

It must go deeper.


Kennedy pledged to withdraw us from the Vietnam war,

pledged to break the CIA “into a thousand pieces,”

pledged to keep America a democracy.


The concrete benches are silent, praying in a circle.

I walk around them, listening, leave my footprints in snow.

The snowy-sandy shore is waiting.

The seagull is puffing up his feathers to insulate himself

from the cold. 

I retreat to my traded house on the Cape.


At night I use the outdoor hot tub and watch the steam rise.

Half-full moon, I see my breath. 

I am nestled in the thick forest of bare trees

I wonder what it was like

to walk that beach as President in summer

to wonder  if he knew he was being followed

to wonder how it was

for hundreds of years

before the white man came

before we landed a man on the moon.


Jules Nyquist  

The JFK Memorial was dedicated July 8, 1966 and is located adjacent to Veteran’s Memorial Park on Lewis Bay in Hyannis, Massachusetts.(This image is from a postcard.)

Jules Nyquist lives in Albuquerque and is the creator of the Poetry Playhouse.  She received her MFA from Bennington College, VT and her poetry collection, “Appetites,” (Beatlick Press) was a finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona 2012 Book Awards.  Her next book of poems, with a projected spring 2014 release date, is entitled “Behind the Volcanoes.” 

Tell others about this Sunday Poem if you like this, and check out the weekly poem in the New Mexico Mercury. Submissions for the Sunday Poem are welcome. Send to Larry Goodell, guest editor, is author of Firecracker Soup, Here on Earth & mucho online work.


Views: 126

Comment by Dee Cohen on December 9, 2013 at 5:20am

Very touching poem Jules. Filled with wondering thoughts. Especially meaningful with the loss of Mandela. Thanks, Dee

Comment by Margaret Randall on December 9, 2013 at 6:20am

Jules, just great to read this wonderful poem in Montevideo, Uruguay, and be reminded of the poetic talent we have in Albuquerque. This is one of your best!


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