Poems and Poetry

White Oak | A Poem by Roy Pullam

The country road
Ends at the graveyard
In the shadow
Of a white church
The steeple
Proof of its age
Peeling skin
From the boards
Directly below the cross
Sections of old and new
Surround the building
Its expanded residency
Greater than Memorial Days
Of my youth
Names I recognize
Neighbors and friends
Reaching their ends
Stones bearing their names
Remind me
Of who they were
I can still hear
Some of their voices
Hear their laughter
As we shared jokes
My father’s grave
Amid the other granite
That he came
With the dawn
Of the twentieth century
How he regaled me
With advents
In his time
Cars, planes and space craft
Rushing into his years
Since his birth
The marvelous adventure
With the awe
Never ceasing
As his life
Evolved from horse and buggy
To a modern world
Never jaded
He approached life
With wonder
That I never
Close my eyes
To the ever-changing world
How I wonder
What amazement
He would find
In the nearly 40 years
Since his death?
My mother
As always
By his side
Her voice smaller
Accepting her role
As she did
When her father
Took her from the school
She so loved
Hers was to be a wife
To sublimate her ambition
To her husband
To put her 6th grade education
Folding it as past
As accepting
As the fate
Of the rag doll
She had carried
Earlier in her childhood
She never complained
Accepting her role
With so much
She wanted
I walked away
Heavy in thought
That others
Will read my dates
But will they appreciate
What came
In between?
Will anyone care
To remember my name
To learn my story
To see me as a person
Who lived
Who loved
Who had a part
No matter how small
In the time
Before them?

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