poetry Uncategorized

Billy Shy

there he was
a vision standing
under blue skies
with tears in his eyes
over my family’s burial plots

i had been on an easter walk
to forget my sins
my own little resurrection from being
shrouded in pain
now released to comfort another

my heart could not ignore
his grief
slumped over my uncle’s headstone

i walked to him
and asked simply,
“Do you know them, the Bates’?”

“Muh…mmmy…boy is named after him. Their oldest boy. Jerry Dale. He was only my best friend…”

I wrapped my arms around the grateful man, “I’m Ellen’s baby. He is my Uncle Jerry. I live in Ira and Mable’s house now.”

His sobs intensified along with his embrace. “You’re Ellen’s baby? You’re kidding…”

“No, but I’m glad I’m here with you now.”

“I am too. I told Ira and Mable that night. Had to be the one to tell them the night he died. It could have been me there with him in that car. I’m Billy Shy…”

“I’ve heard of you…”

He looked down at the stone again. “I’ve been gone in Florida for 25 years. I’m back in Lexington now. I just wanted to come pay my respects.”

“Well, I’ve been in Cincinnati for 25 years. What are the odds we’d be here on the same day? This moment…”

“Indeed. They were God’s…”

He hugged me again, for the longest time.

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