At Our Grandparents' House, Watching the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964

Do you remember the fresh shock of the Beatles'
look and sound, giddy joy in the choreographed
head-shakes, tumult of yeah-yeahs like an ecstatic
conquering army sweeping over the hill
of our doubts?  More than anything, what sticks
for me from that evening my younger brother
and I gaped at the long-haired troubadours
on our grandparents' TV, able to pull in
Cities stations our rabbit-eared set at home
couldn't, is the shared dazzlement of siblings,
one teenaged and the other wishing
he were, walking the snowy streets home,
in no hurry to subject this new wonder
that has lit up their faces to the belittling
sarcasm of a father unable to
join in the fun.  Glad for any occasion
to visit, those two old people, his parents,
plied us with potato chips and soda,
supported us in a way gently subversive
to our father's dour regime.  Though because
of our four adopted British older brothers,
we would both go on to take up guitar,
the younger quickly outstripping the elder,
the deeper drama of our lives has its roots here
in the early-set divisions of home
and heart that, magnified in the nation,
persist and intensify year by year,
while the Beatles' inclusive star beams down
like the better angel it's turned out to be
since sweetening that first bitter era
of loss and diminishment our generation knew.

(from The Night We Saved the Beatles, Lost Music Press, 2012)

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