The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond

 Offerings From Roy Beckemeyer

 

 

To My Brother

on the Anniversary of Our Father's Death

 

You followed after him

more closely perhaps,

with your work shoes and lunch pail,

union dues and picketing.

 

But I read the daily paper

as religiously as he did

and watch the political conventions

every four years,

with his explanations

of how it all worked

still there in my mind.

 

And though we both have

our mothers eyes,

we share his ears, his height,

and something in our demeanors

that reflects him in us,

so any stranger watching

would pick us out as brothers,

and anyone who knew him

would know us,

different as we are,

as his sons.


 

 

MAGGIE

 

She provided Virginia with an excuse

To make hats and caps

And wore them with grace.

 

In her peach fuzz dignity

She inspired us

With her every day

Down to earth grit,

Her humor,

Her love for her family,

Her determination to prevail

As long as she could.

 

It is over now,

And all we can do is pray

That in our end

We will have her

Fighting spirit,

Her scrappy dignity,

Her will to make

The days that remain

A kind of poetry.

 

 

 

 

Elegy for Our Father


Every day we brought him papers from school,

as if the medicine of daily ritual might mend

the marred and failing marrow of his bones. 

And after school we called his friends

and asked if they would give a pint of blood

to help him live another day or two. 

 

That there was no one left for us to call

that final day was just as well,

as words no longer came to us at all -

his dying dammed our throats until

lakes of grief were formed, as deep as emptiness,

and drowning all our words within our chests. 


 ###################################################################


Roy Beckemeyer of Wichita, Kansas has had poems accepted for the periodicals Coal City Review,  America, The Journal of Civic Leadership, and The Lyric, the anthologies Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems and To The Star Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices, and the web page Zingara Poet.



Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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