Walter Cronkite Takes Off His Glasses

Lunch at the sports bar, a dozen televisions
peer down at us: Abtronic™ on one screen,
trivia on another; on a third,
another memorial service, dangerous mix
of grief and righteous self-congratulation —
Just give me Walter Cronkite
behind a desk
no made-for-TV-movie theme music
no made-for-TV-movie title graphic:
            Attack on America
            America  United
            America Strikes Back: This Time, It’s Depersonalized
no Mondrian split screen,
no hired-gun expert analyst in one corner,
no bonus talking head in the other corner
no ticker tape dragging along beneath,
no harried speculation to fill dead air,
no race for ratings —
just the story, and silence
when there’s no more story —
Just Walter Cronkite,
one man, one head, no ticker tape —
all info, no ‘tainment —
Just Walter Cronkite,
whose biggest dramatic flourish
was the occasional removal
of his spectacles
in grief or grinning disbelief:
            Kennedy shot
            Moon landing
Just Walter Cronkite
taking off his glasses,
maybe touching his forehead,
maybe shaking his head a little
before he pulls it together
and turns over the next page.

1 thought on “Walter Cronkite Takes Off His Glasses”

  1. Forgot to mention that this old poem (wrote it about nine years ago) appeared in the anthology, The Other Side of Sorrow, edited by Patricia Frisella.

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