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Jim Turner

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 2:41 pm

Whatever happened to Jim?

If they should care enough to ask

don’t tell them that I died.

Tell them this:

He said he was going back

to a happy poverty

in Carolina eighty years ago to wander

familiar fields and woods and blackberry creeks

Clicking away of little lives in summer weeds

The trembling rabbits’ brown field,

bob white’s refuge of unburned brush,

the deer’s dappled woods,

a scolding squirrel’s hickory,

the moccasin’s blackberry creek?

No evil then in those still coils,

the gaping cottony mouth.

Could evil or death hide

in April rain or August sun?

Yet my feet awakened their strange odors

sleeping in centuries of October leaves.

He said he was going back to Carolina,

eighty years ago

to boyhood ways

of ignorance and innocence and happiness,

where poverty and troubles bent the back

of someone else who never moaned

and left him to his dreams.

He said he will amble aimlessly

across familiar fields, through old woods,

along blackberry creeks

and climb his trees

for hickory nut and muscadine,

free as a bob white on his post

and the running cottontail.

Wakened from the shade of our enduring elm,

a little white dog will die again from joy.

Aug. 1, 1925-June 1, 2013.

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