In 1985, while pursuing a business degree, I unhappily landed in a creative writing class and announced to the group that I thought Walt Whitman was a chain of schools throughout the United States. To my astonishment, I had found my pacing, abandoned prose, and started a poetry circle that has been meeting for 16 years. I have published four poetry collections, most recently: “The Bloomsberries and Other Curiosities” Kelsay Books and “Wonder” Little Lantern Press (out of Wales). https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Laurie+Byro I am the Poet in Residence at the West Milford Township Library and despite it all, love New Jersey, and have lived here almost 60 years.
His soul was like the raccoon that foraged
through the cans on our porch, came up to the door
begging, then swaggering into the house, back
into our lives. He was all around us, each walk
through the forest we saw him: wing for hair,
leaves for mouth, stream for skin. They told me,
we heard your father’s voice last night singing,
The limb of that oak played its violin to heaven.
No one remembers his name but the squirrels
he used to feed: Old Man, Wire Hands. Meanwhile,
rain fills each empty shoe. A lost shoe on the moon fills
with stardust. Meanwhile, each courage teacher covers
her eyes with brown pebbles, removes a periwinkle shell
battered from tumble. A lawyer soothes his throat with honey
bees. Each day leads to the next. The tin can of peas
on the porch is licked empty. My father’s soul dances
along the porch, puffs and settles. Nature’s gentleman
pokes through last night’s supper.
© 2018 Laurie Byro
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