“Buddy” by Keven Bellows

I sometimes think the Jim he is becoming
may be the Jim who was. Buddy
swinging on a fence
around a New England clapboard
with a wide porch, where
his grandfather rocked rain or shine.

Summers in Still River away from parents–
Buddy’s happiest hours. When not
sitting with the man in the rocker,
retired by alcohol long before his time,
he was practicing his swing
with a found golf club
on the course behind the property,
scrounging balls to earn pocket change.

Always easiest on his own, Buddy thrived
in this odd company that included Emerson and Thoreau,
favorites of his wellborn grandfather,
a 19th century gentleman, who left him
an abiding affection for men of few words—
memories undiminished through eight decades.

More boy at the gate
eager for adventure,
than the grandfather he now is,
Jim’s reservoir of resilience is Buddy,
whose arrival incites the onset of summer,
lazy days lengthening, lure of tall grass,
leaves turned inside out looking for rain.

Unfailingly courteous, grateful
for love that surrounds without confining,
the solitary boy reclaims the man,
makes us comfortable on the porch,
while he makes for the fence
across an invisible lawn.

Keven Bellows

Photo by VC Ferry

© 2011

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4 comments

  1. lkthayer · January 30, 2011

    Keven, you have such grace and style in your writing,
    it unfolds beautifully like a flower, very languid & gentle..
    “lazy days lengthening, lure of tall grass,
    leaves turned inside out looking for rain.”
    An amazing poem, thank you for sharing. Lisa

  2. Alexis Rhone Fancher · January 30, 2011

    …”the solitary boy reclaims the man.” This says it all. A brave, nostalgic dream of a poem. Delicious!

  3. Lordy · January 30, 2011

    “Retired by alcohol long before his time, while he makes for the fence across an invisible lawn”
    .. So many lines that you can jumble and still feel that American creeking porch with Buddy both man and boy.

    Tis well thought out and worthy of high merit indeed.

  4. Susan Hayden · January 31, 2011

    Love you Keven ❤

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