Johnny we

Your dish of change included a tie clip

and pocket knife, a book of matches

and ring – all things a boy might like,

and I did.


You had that easy way, a calm I never

saw broken. I know better now. Our

pleasure in a river forgets the

dislodging of rocks and trees.

But thank you! Thank you

for keeping it cool

to never be short with me.


When I see you now, you’re at the table,

your cards down under flattened palms.

You smile at some joke,

and make a little one of your own.

I see your teeth, the

bushiness of brow behind your glasses.


And again: you’re on the porch,

in a fold-up chair.

A car goes by. Grandma’s not ready yet.

In an hour it’ll be too hot. But for now

you’re content. The grass is mowed.

Your shoes are shined.


I can’t stop my sweaty play

to sit on the step and hear what you say.

But I’d like to.

I’d like to catch my breath for once

and listen.

4 thoughts on “Johnny we

  1. Love it. I wish more of my memories of him were clearer. He was the calm one. Miss them both.

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