Monday, January 12, 2015

Two Years (To Ron Kephart and his memory)

Your voice over the phone
ran like a hillbilly's,
and when I told you,
you laughed.
In your blog,
men and women fought
for eight hour days
and respect.
Under my watchful eye,
commas and verbs met
and agreed.
You'd sing
or write about bears
on the side.

So many knew you.
I knew you for a year,
and although
I never saw or talked to you
face to face,
I knew that all the time
we were fleshing out
some clause or point
or paragraph,
you were sitting
with a smile as wide
as counties.
Come in, stranger,
it seemed to say.
Sit a spell.
Have some joe.
Talk to us
of work and people
who fight
for others.
I will tell you
of coal and anger
and the valor
of a town.
I will tell you
of people who stood in the line
through freezing rain
and the blows of thugs
and the hate of rich swells
who never knew
what it was to work hungry
and live hungry
with children in rags.

My smile answers

knowing you're still working
for those who can't,
and says,

"I will tell you
of all those who miss you
and wish you were still here
to make the terrible news
and help us all
rise up
to better days.
Come in, stranger.
Sit with us once more
on your chair
by the window
and pretend
that you never left."

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