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Duke LaRance

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I Can Still Remember Jim
by Duke LaRance

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

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           >> View all 161

                I Can Still Remember Jim


 


                Back in the Fifties and Sixties


Not so long ago, really


The American Legion religiously


Literally and figuratively


Placed little white metal crosses


Along the highways


Where accident victims died


Some of those sad, silent stories


Are the clusters of those crosses


Two, four, six and even eight


Imagine, eight lives exinguished


In one horrific split second


 


Then, for a time


The crosses were not erected


As untold numbers


Perished on those roads


On occasion, families would


Put up those sad little crosses


In memory of loved ones


Even as the older crosses


Succumbed to wind and rust


Other vehicles taking them out


In the particularly bad spots


Along those lonesome roads


 


And now, someone is putting up


Those little white crosses


Along the roadways again


Two, four, six -- even eight at a time


Grim reminders of sad stories


So terribly many of them


As you drive north from here


Towards the Sacred Lands


So many lives lost


So many families devastated


So many hearts broken


Never to heal


 


I donít remember Jim all that well


Old friend of my Dadís when I was young


One night after he got all drunked-up


At the local watering hole


Argued with his wife back at the ranch


Jumped into his truck again 


Headed back towards town


But never made it


He crawled out of the wreck


Rolled a Bull Durham


Had a final smoke and


Went dead alone along the road


 


The county has since straightened out


That stretch of lonesome gravel road


Took out the little curve


That Jim missed that night


But everytime I drive by there


I canít help but peer


Way over by that patch of brush


And see the little cross


Nearly bent over by the wind


Almost covered over with rust


And I can still remember Jim


Even if nobody else ever thinks of him


 


©2003/duke larance, dba raoul abrasive litanies


 


 


 


 


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Reviewed by Erin Kelly-Moen 10/2/2003
The crosses beside the roads...they always catch my attention, I wonder who had died, how they had lived, who they were. I was nearly a cross beside the road near Boulder, CO in 1982, I am so lucky to be alive, to enjoy and learn from the world around me, to love being. Wonderfully sobering piece, Duke, I am glad there are people who think of the people behind the crosses, there is some comfort in that thought.
Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya 10/2/2003
Excellent tribute....BHUWAN
Reviewed by Transcendental Poet (Reader) 9/30/2003
Initially I thought that it is a tribute to Jim Morrison! Well written tribute my friend..Yes, this is a true story and well written...
Reviewed by Vicky Jeter 9/30/2003
I "still remember" not just my parents friends--but both my parents. By the Grace of God when my mother "missed the curve"
she spit a young Oak Tree in two rather than
a person. -- Thankfully, my father finally does not dring and drive today.
Reviewed by Taylor Trenton (Reader) 9/30/2003
Excellent write.
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader) 9/30/2003
Very moving poetry .
So well done.
PJ
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 9/30/2003
This was so moving, very well written, I felt this very deeply,

Reindeer
Reviewed by L M (Reader) 9/30/2003
I still remember friends of my Dads also. This is well written.
LM
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