I am a retired business-to-business PR and publishing professional residing in northern New Jersey with my wife and son and a shrinking menagerie of merry pets. I began writing poetry (not very well) 100 years ago as an undergraduate at Georgetown University, where I earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English Literature. My poems have appeared recently in Contemporary American Voices (I was the Featured Poet in the January 2015 issue), the Wilderness House Literary Review, Blue Monday Review, and Atavic Poetry. In 2013, I celebrated (mostly by smiling a lot) the publication of my first poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, by Finishing Line Press. A lifelong Giants fan (New York and San Francisco), I still can't believe I lived long enough to see them win three World Series in five years. If you'd like to see more of my work, please click on http://www.whlreview.com/no-9.4/poetry/JamesKeane.pdf.
Editor's Note: In an email to me, James described his inspiration for this special poem...
Years ago, while waiting to pick up my mother at the airport, I was privileged to witness the happy return of a young soldier from his overseas deployment to his waiting, welcoming family. The memory of the silent joy emanating from his family, but especially from his father, fueled the poem, which came a couple of years later. I can only imagine the special, deepening joy this little family - and other families whose sons and daughters have served in the military and returned home - must feel as another Independence Day approaches.
Homecoming, Newark Airport
I don’t know what you went through
(or went screaming through you)
over there. But all appears forgotten
in the walkway from the plane.
Your family, beaming, still,
as you stride up a steady hill to the
WELCOME HOME someone (all of them?)
committed to cloth just knowing
you were coming back. And here you
stand. Back. Smiles and silence
all around. A hug, patiently,
for your mother. A shove, playfully,
for your sister. Then all there is
is your father. His tight grip. Tightening
grin. Branded with a savage
kiss on both sides of your neck.
“Homecoming, Newark Airport” was previously published in my chapbook of poems titled What Comes Next (Finishing Line Press).
©2015 James Keane