R L Kilgore

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Feb 25
I Am Sorry
icon1 Ron | icon2 personal comment, personal poetry, Poems | icon4 February 25, 2009 @ 11:17 am| icon31 Comment »

A small, dusty Texas town where no trees grow
Without being watered was OK for a sixth grade boy
Who did not know any better. There was no link
To the outside world with television so I
Didn’t know much anyway.

Barracks type buildings from the closed, World War II
Army base had been moved and converted
Into class rooms on the grounds of the junior
High school – and that was OK too.

We six graders started band in one of those barracks
And I played the clarinet. I played clarinet
Because my mother had found a used one cheap.
The problem was mine was shiny metal and the other
Clarinet players had black ones.

A boy named Gene sat next to me
In the clarinet section. He sat one seat closer
To the front row because he played a little better
Than I did. Gene was not corpulent
But he was somewhat overweight, I would
Call him soft. He was not athletic
And walked with a shuffling, pigeon-toed gait. His hair
Was a lighter shade than blond but I don’t believe
It was white. However, his most remarkable
Feature was a silver metal cap on one of his front
Teeth. I now know caps like that are the most
Inexpensive way of fixing a broken tooth.
He smiled frequently and pushed his glasses up
With the backside of his index finger. He
Was not one of the in-crowd and I was.

Gene and I had a conflict, the cause
Of which I don’t recall – nor what happened
Afterward. Regardless, I was trying to prove
To him I was somehow better off
Than he was.

In our town movies changed three times a week,
One on Saturday, one on Sunday and one
(only your mother would go to) in between.
I told Gene I went to all three movies
Every week. (This was a lie – I only
Went on weekends). He told me he did too.
Desperate for something to one-up him with I
Said at least I did not live on the north
Side of the tracks. He probably had never thought
About where he lived. He just stood looking with a wide-eyed
Stare like someone who had been stabbed in the heart with a knife
And was still alive to feel It. I had won.

The memory of his face burns in my mind
And haunts my heart so I cannot forget.
Gene, I am sorry.

rlkilgore

Feb 19
Passing By
icon1 Ron | icon2 happiness, nature poetry, Poems | icon4 February 19, 2009 @ 11:00 pm| icon3No Comments »

            I paused my walk of a hillside path
                To catch the morning glow,
              A distant crest with haloed sun             
                  And valley spread below.

            Close by flowers of yellow and red,
                  Dispersed in fields of grass,
              Gently swayed belying the breeze
                Stiffened by Springtime’s grasp.

              My eye lulled first on those nearby
                  Then rose above the crowd
        Where colors flowed and, blending as one,
                  Showed less bold and loud.

              Contented, I left my mind at ease,
                    Unfocused eyes to stare,
            With naught but feel the hand of God
                    Through my tousled hair.

              Suddenly, in flurry of wings and wind
                    A covy of panicked quail
              Exploding in flight from unseen peril
                    Startled me from my spell.

            When next I looked the sun’s full bloom
                    So reigned in blinding splay,
                The tranquil scene before now gone,
                      I turned and walked away.

                                          rlkilgore

Feb 15
Timidity and Pride
icon1 Ron | icon2 nature poetry, personal poetry, Poems | icon4 February 15, 2009 @ 12:17 am| icon3No Comments »

Why glamorize a shooting star
Stealing swiftly through the darkened night,
Fleet and silent as a craven thief
Streaking so to cheat the dawning light?

Flashing thunder booms its flaunted pride
To emphasize with aplomb and flair
The bolt harbors no timidity of the star,
Yet neither leaves sign of ever passing there.

                              rlkilgore

Feb 1

This was written for a friend who recently passed away.  I was able to visit him about three weeks before he died.

Eons stretching beyond belief
Now mean nothing but what we see,
With none more precious than this day
To him, knowing so few remained,
Poised at the edge of what’s to be.

A light-hearted spirit true to his nature,
Unaffected as one might assume
In his grievous condition, relieved
Me the task of feigned good cheer,
His buoyancy dispelling my dreaded gloom.

Instead we talked as a normal day
Of sports, of kids and elections, wise
In combination over one hundred years,
With catchall solutions uncontested
By those not there to see our eyes.

But far, far from a normal day
We tacitly knew – small jokes brought
Smiles but no belly laugh,
Mirth without twinkle and we paused,
Looking away, each to his thought.

Ensnared in a web of no one’s making,
Spun by blood cells out of control,
He bravely proclaimed his satisfaction
And readiness, but I thought better –
Valiant warrior, gentle soul.

I said I would see him in the Spring,
He hugged me with no uttered reply.
We knew only I would see the Spring
So I turned to go to my car,
Turned to hide my moistened eye.

                                rlkilgore