for John Gibson
I watch you on MSNBC, the same fire in your eyes I remember from the days in Mrs. Hedgepeth's 7th grade Language Arts classes. we sat in the back, were pals instantly, stayed pals for years. with strawberry hair, light blue eyes racing an intelligence you could barely keep up with, you left sparks in your trail. you always could write anything and were never afraid to speak your truth. look at you now. we've talked on the phone now and again and I've watched you via television waves for years, from this station to that, this network to that, the big stories, the interviews, entrancing me with that brightness and keen sight, making me think. all the while in the back of my memory a still of us outside the gym at lunch. spring, 1959. zoom in, it comes to life, lost video to all but me. you'll never see it on the news. leaning against the wall, we stand in big smiles. I, with pony tail, bucket bag, white rolled-up sleeve blouse, quilted circular skirt with purple and yellow roosters, watch and listen as you talk. what is it you're telling me this time, you in your white polo shirt and jeans, tan bucks with the red soles, weight on one foot, the other crossed over, resting confidently on its toe. catching thoughts flying through that mind of yours, you look off now and then, ever so casual, yet lit on fire.
© April 1998 Leslye Layne Russell
This poem was published in the
May 1998 issue of One Dog Press.