I was in fifth grade, not quite 11. My brother was a first grader. It was a time when I knew all the words the adults were saying, yet sensed I was missing something.
It was a time when all the girls brought a pair of long pants to leave in their lockers. Some parts of the country, the schools practiced duck under the desk drills.
My home town was a Nike Missile Tracking Station. We practiced evacuation drills instead.
All the moms who didn’t work had Ciivil defense stickers on their wind shields. They were to drive to their assigned school where children would fill the cars as they came out of the school.
There were so many things I didn’t understand about the plan, like how we would ever get back with our parents who worked in the city. The one thing I knew no one would keep me from getting into the same car with my brother.
All those feelings come back to me when I read Richard Wilbur’s poem, The Boy At the WIndow. The last lines speak of those days for me,
‘For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.’