Robert K. Johnson
Born in New York City (in Elmhurst), I lived in several different places there but have memories only of The Bronx (off Fordham Road). Then my family moved out "on The Island"--to Lynbrook, where we stayed till I graduated from Hofstra (then a College). Several years after my wife, Pat, and I married, we, plus our two children, settled in the Boston area and have remained there (except for my daughter, Kate, who has lived in Manhattan for quite a while). I have been writing poetry since I was twelve (many moons ago).
High School Classmates of Mine
Growing Up In A Small Town—1949
I stop to watch the Buck brothers' Ford
rip through the winter darkness
shrouding our town's main street,
drab as hand-me-down clothes;
and savor like sugar's sweetness
the lingering echo of their car
speeding away even faster than
the few other cars that dare
to break the speed limit
while I remain
trapped in a narrow-minded town
Exploding with frustration, I want
to ride with the Bucks as their car
rattles the roadside houses
even if by midnight
they smash into a wall;
want it so much
I have to fight to convince myself
it is better to—someday
far from here—write
about this raging night.
Late Winter Thoughts
Tiring more easily now,
I settle in a chair
to watch another snow's
falling whiteness; and remember
how often my life has pivoted
on happenings briefer than
a branched bird taking flight...
as on the glistening autumn day
I strolled across the quad
and saw—hurrying out
of the library—a young woman
cradling too many books
in her cardigan-covered arms.
Her footsteps brisk with purpose,
her smile caught by the sunlight,
she walked toward where I had stopped,
and I knew even before
I offered her my "Hello,"
knew right to my fingertips
I loved this sun-golden woman
and would marry her forever.
-previously published in REACH POETRY
©2015 Robert K. Johnson