Dickey's wife called her husband, James Lee,
but I never read his middle name as Lee.
It should be thought of as one whole name,
Like Jimmy Lee, and never abbreviated as Jim.
We Jims are usually kept busy in grease-dark
jeans, overweight with butt crack showing,
a Mr. Fix-it type, a jack-leg fitter of used toilets
only summoned in desperate domestic hours,
or we answer the well-shooter's calling, to aim
for the heart of a well-point with a few beats left.
Living on the edge of those beats you would
understand the anatomy, the heart of a well.
My grand parents grew up this way, grandma
longing after a handsome pole-boy aboard a
Kanawha barge pushing down the Appomattox,
muddy water flowing past county farms and
gentry shop owners, doomed to the '29 crash.
My uncle, marooned by WWII, delightful man,
but you wouldn't want to know him unless
you long to see a deep heart still left beating;
German prison camp survival on the tip of
your agenda maybe, with pictures, or not.
Heroes hide darkly among us, invisible to
the touch, victims of fortune, ending up all
that's left of threadbare legacy at odds with
ambition and a stubborn youthful denial.
Who could tell us 'NO' but a wise elder who
passing the screen porch builder, shouts,
"Don't forget you'll have tear that down".
Best advice ever. A builder learns to tear
down and repair, a lover to morn his loss,
a mother to let go of all of her children.
An artist never loses the urge to create.
Angels of nativity and doomed heroes
haunt my life, beg for answers, show the
bare outline of eternity, and offer little but
cautionary tales. Given a name you fight.
Resist the corruption of that name until
there is nothing left, not even a long,
sunset walk. An old friend once said,
"Jimmy's famous," but I have no idea
what fame brings other than simplicity,
fame will find you whenever it needs to.
Fighting for my name is the only fun I
have left, for now. It'll be the last thing,
one name out of an eternity of well-
meaning names, watch word names.