The telephone line goes cold;
               birds tread it wherever it goes.

                    – William Stafford (“The Farm on the Great Plains”)

He was old, but younger than I am today,
digging earthworms for a rusty coffee can,
cane pole and cork bobber for the bass hole

on the Kaweah where he pumped water
for summer pasture before the Flood of ‘55
took it all, but memories, downstream.

In those days, we were rich with time to spend
on foolishness, watching water and bobber
in the warm morning’s sunshine. I call

back occasionally, but there is no ring
on the other end for anyone to answer,
no one left at home, no fish in the bass hole.


3 responses to “TERMINUS 1953

  1. What a poignant piece, John, yet filled with precious memories. When we lived in Illinois, there were hundreds of these guys in the park, singing away every day.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another posting that brings tears to my eyes and a heavier throb in my chest. THANK YOU!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another posting that brings tears to my eyes and a heavy throbbing to my chest…THANK YOU!


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