Thursday, March 12, 2009

"For John - On the Occasion of the Fortieth Year"


Remember when we were high school boys,
And barely just sixteen,
With lives to live forever,
And horizons too far away to be seen?

We knew that soon we would be grown-up,
And have jobs, and wives, and responsibility,
And we knew we would stand on solid ground,
And we would stand there on our own two feet.

But meanwhile, we enjoyed our teens,
We drove our cars “Hollywood Style” ‘til they would almost stall,
We learned to use triangles and t-squares,
And we ran like halfbacks through KHS’s crowded halls.

Yes, we thought we would grow older,
And become the men we hoped someday we would be,
But we didn’t see the lurking darkness,
That would take you away, for all eternity.

John, your memory always either fills my mind,
Or it sleeps quietly below the surface.
I never know when you will appear,
But you do, all the time, almost as if on purpose.

Sometimes it’s during a grandchild’s birthday,
And often during the holidays with my family,
Or sometimes when I walk through a field,
Or sit comfortable and warm, beneath a shady tree.

I think of you at class reunions,
And when I have a hamburger down at Zip’s,
And always when I drive by your grave,
Up on Olympia and Tenth.

Though severely injured, my life continued on,
But in its ebbs and flows,
I never forget you, John, dying that night,
Forty years ago.

March 12, 2009