For Eddie, who rolled his skidder on the Hurley, April ‘68.
Come to me driving that powder blue hardtop,
faded almost white, with rusty wheel wells
and a tailpipe that whacks on the pavement
as you round the corner on Pioneer Street.
Wear your Desert boots with wool socks
and brand new Red Straps.
Bring me a piece of Crazy Lace
from your mother’s lapidary work.
Come with family albums
taped full of handsome relatives
and your own baby pictures.
Everyone turning jaundiced behind their plastic pages.
Come with a bag of jerky and a box of Old Style.
Bring a green plaid tin filled with Elsie’s chocolate clusters.
Come with your grown out crew cut and the clippers
that Neighbour Joe traded you back in ‘65
for twenty free haircuts.
Wear a touch of Aqua Velva.
Bring your worn out Harmony in its battered case
and who knows how many words we might
to Sloop John B and Bobby McGee.
Come in the middle of June with wild roses
tucked in your pockets.
We’ll drive out 99 to the park
and sit on a picnic table
in the long pale twilight.
Bring an eight-track player
and speakers that take up the whole rear window.
We’ll crank up Spirit in the Sky
and let the fuzz box vibrations
ripple along the weedy shore of One Mile Lake
until the Sticklebacks shiver
under the wharf.
From Four Small People in Sturdy Shoes (Houle Printing, 2014).
Used here with the author’s permission.