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).
Making a Movie
The first take in the kitchen
was spoiled when the husband coughed
a couple of times; the second,
when the wife paused to adjust
a bra strap; then her sister sneezed.
It wasn't until the fourth take
that, at last, the true-to-life scene
was flawlessly filmed.
Almost More than a Cat
you waited at breakfast time
to lick what was left on my plate;
you kept me company
while I worked at the computer,
napped on my lap while I napped;
and finally became
a human being when,
stroke-crippled, in deep pain,
and given a lethal injection,
you for one split second
lifted your head erect,
knowing that something strange
was happening to you.
previously published in WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW
The Source of Sadness
(for my older brother)
As well aware of what loomed for her
as if it were water climbing above
her ankles, my wife's Aunt Sally stumbled
over her faster and faster words
describing everything of significance
her lifetime had experienced.
You choose not to share.
If prodded, you resort to anecdotes
you've already told and told again,
and say nothing about
past days when you reached
or failed to reach your goal, or who—
now stripped of life—you miss the most,
or what you, looking back, have learned. Instead,
you stay inside the dark haven of a silence
like the silence soon to come.
©2016 Robert K. Johnson