High School Reunion, Greenville, Kentucky
—for John Hill Neeley
“I’m so glad to see you, Honey!
Tell me, what’s the best you know?”
She asks, quits pulling weeds
and, happy as a girl, sits on the stone
swinging a worn-out running shoe
right over where she’ll lie between
her husband and her son, my friend,
who half my life ago, this week,
By accident. By chance.
The way I’m here. And as we talk
I know she’ll get around to telling
how no mark was on him when
the car rolled to a stop. And we will see,
tonight,my good blond friend, who drove.
I’d speak for him—for all of us who
never met mistakes we didn’t make.
Whose faults like loose change
on the dresser compound overnight.
But what’s to say?
He that is without sin among you
let him cast a stone? Sufficient
unto the day is the evil thereof?
Why seek ye the living among the dead?
The best thing I know, Ruby, is the sky
this afternoon. And how it clears.
And the maple leaves, yellow and wet,
half on the trees, half spread out
on the ground. The way they smell.