This is the second anniversary of my brother’s death. This poem, that I hope to turn into a song, came to me, so I scribbled it down. With my friend Tom McCandlish’s help, I’m going to make a CD of original songs this summer. I’ve got six good songs already, so I need a few more. Maybe this will be one. You never know if you’re a poet or songwriter. You just have to listen to your muse when she speaks/whispers. I want to make this CD, not because I have hopes of being a superstar singer, but in hopes that a really great singer will want to sing my songs. Wish me luck on that. Anyway, let me know what you think of this poem.
(Written in memory of Jimmy Dale Pittman (April 21, 1954-June 30, 2007) and my granddad Fogle in Ivanhoe, TX)
Abandoned now after all these years,
The fence long torn down,
A little house dies alone
Without a whisper or a frown.
It barely stands in Ivanhoe,
A little one road town,
Named after a book no one reads,
I can almost hear a sound
My memories shift like forking roads
To my granddad’s home,
And how like himself, abandoned now,
To crumble and die alone.
Two barefoot boys once played in that yard
Now overgrown with weeds,
They heard bobwhites and owls and whippoorwills,
And watched the fireflies in the trees.
It doesn’t seem like 50 years,
But, yes, it’s been that long,
Since I played with my brother there,
Now the house and him are gone.
We’d lie awake on hot summer nights,
In an antique, now-sold bed,
The oscillating fan our lullaby,
Goodnight, goodbye, it said.
Thank you, Rickey. I’ve missed your poems and this is a good one. I feel it will make a wonderful song. And you are so right about unexpected poets, I learned that the hard way, didn’t I? You were lucky to have your brother and he, you. Put me on your list for that CD?