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Red Scare

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I was born when

It peaked,

When McCarthy

Was deflated

But it was a cold war,

And we weren’t supposed to

Trust the Soviets

Whoever they were

I didn’t know and

Could only generally

Think about Russians

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But there was the language room

At Pitt

And people from so many parts

Living in the city

And the region

And on TV scenes and shows

With comedy and Russians

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Some of these

Lampooning, no doubt

Some of it relief

As if to say

The Soviets are people, too

And we are people, too

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There were Soyuz model kits

And joined experiments in space

And there was Peter and the Wolf

At the young people’s symphony

And The Nutcracker

At Heinz Hall every winter,

And my sister liked to go

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Communists?

Who were communists?

They wore red stars

Looked grim

Waited in long lines for everything

There was Eloise in Moscow

We looked for the funny KGB character

Appearing somewhere on each page

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There were missiles all over

Here and there

I didn’t see any,

Though there were sonic booms above

From military aircraft

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Blue and silver in the sky

And black and white on TV

How scared should I be?

Sometimes I was pretty scared

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C L Couch

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Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

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