Holly Guran

American Pie

bye bye 
the plane crash 
    13 years past
Buddy Holly on his way 
    to Fargo to do his wash
which somehow he couldn’t do 
    in Clear Lake Iowa
the day the music died
other griefs enter 
    bow slightly
never really leave 
    the sixties’ hope falling
in the plane 
    of young musicians
this will be the day that I die
planes of US soldiers 
    the Vietnamese 
never found 
the good old boys 
    drafted and gone
That same year
    back from Rome
not quite believing 
    what I’d lost
a husband
    an extended family
two cultures I’d stolen
    the cascading tapestry 
of Rome’s lush history 
    gilded on the present
 Ukrainian life shared
    by his family who fled
    in world war II
Buddy’s widow 
    his high school sweetheart
she’s Jackie Kennedy
    she’s me 
she’s lots of us
the day the music died


Holly Guran, author of Twilight Chorus, River of Bones, and the chapbooks River Tracks and Mothers’ Trails, earned a Massachusetts Cultural Council award and coordinates a popular Boston reading series. Her work appeared in journals including Mom Egg Review, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Borderlands, Worcester Review,and Salamander.  Her narrative poems, based on a 19th century correspondence between a mill girl and the editor she married, have been performed in Boston and other locations.  

Holly Guran’s Website