Johnny

 

Johnny

A wren appears in the rafters

uttering a long, sweet cry

as if to mourn your passing — and  remember

when you where last here

turning a stable-turned-garage

into a writing studio. You sat at a wooden work space

with an ink well in its corner. Something purchased

from a thrift or antique shop.

 

Light filtered through a window

veiled in cobwebs, the lingering breath

of a story. We never really knew

what you disclosed in those blue-lined papers

fantailed on your desk. I might guess

(looking at the glass) your mind flew back to childhood

 

where we gathered in the parlor

for a séance.  Curtains drawn, hands linked together

and a white candle burning in the dark. The setting

was right but you knew the event was less than real. Jokingly,

you made your eyes wild, your voice the pitch of  Vincent Price. 

From somewhere, a sudden draft blew the closet door shut, accented

the scene with an eerie flicker. We were startled but more caught up

in the thrill of being scared. Now, the bird pecks at his feathers

the way you would  pick at lint on the sleeves of your shirt; thin

cotton fibers,  small details that could interrupt

your train of thought, the summer paradise of us

falling into boredom and  counting on a big

brother to lift us out.

 

6 comments

    • Hi Craig

      Thanks so much for that kind comment. I deeply appreciate it! Johnny was my cousin but more like a brother to me, as I am an only child. He was a very special person and as children, he kept me and sisters entertained and out of boredom. His passing was sudden but his imaginative talent and sense of humor will live on and be cherished.

      My best
      Wendy

      Like

  1. The wren adds to the feeling of reminiscence in this poem; it brings the mood in a subtle way without over emphasis or long explanation.

    Like

    • Hi Michael

      Yes, the wren is rather a unifying factor in this poem. After learning of his death, I actually heard that bird outside my own home and it inspired the poem or maybe prompted me to write it Thank you so much for sharing your insight and reading my work. I really appreciate it.

      My Best
      Wendy

      Like

  2. Dear Wendy,

    The poetry captures and captivates.
    I lived each line, felt the joys shared
    and the sorrow of the loss.

    Such writing should be celebrated,
    and so, too, such love. You have caused
    this reader to share in the speaker’s farewell
    to a beloved brother.

    Sarah.

    Like

    • Dear Sarah

      Your comment is truly beautiful and I deeply appreciate it. As I mentioned above, I am an only child but was blessed with Johnny as a cousin who became like my brother and his sisters who also became my playmates and sisters. His passing was a shock but his special character and love will be remembered. I wrote you a longer e-mail on Johnny’s life and influence also will get that magazine to you soon. Yahoo mail this morning was in a temperamental mood, so I sent several drafts of the same letter.

      Again, thank you so much for you care and condolences. They are very much appreciated!

      My best always,
      Wendy

      Like

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