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“Cause of Death: numerous gunshot wounds to the head.”

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Rosemary J. Gwaltney
Senior Member
since 08-26-99
Posts 1064
northern mountains, Idaho


0 posted 05-13-2000 07:36 AM       View Profile for Rosemary J. Gwaltney   Email Rosemary J. Gwaltney   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit Rosemary J. Gwaltney's Home Page   View IP for Rosemary J. Gwaltney



~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky.
Good-bye. Good-bye.
~
Your mother’s voice broke into our lives
like an terrifying air-raid siren shrieking against the skies.
Her phone call shook me to the core, in the early morning, I learned;
while the children, then teenagers, who had never known
you, were asleep. Too soon your hourglass had turned.
“I have some bad news for you, Rosemary.
Jimmy was shot and killed last night.”
~
“Oh, no!  Oh, no!  Oh, no!”
~
Dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind.
I’m so very sorry.
~
“While he drove his taxi, an unknown assailant
shot him in an apparent attempted robbery”.
It made all the local news stations.
I’m so very sorry.
~
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky.
Good-bye. Good-bye.
~
I perceived a fierce, alien planet, as though from
a faraway foreign place, as your children saw your peaceful face
for the first time, lying in your coffin. You had two jackets on - the church
one your mother insisted upon, and the Resurrection motorcycle one
that your own culture - your hundreds of buddies demanded.
I whispered my choked farewells to you alone.
Good-bye. Good-bye.
~
After the preacher spoke to the silent, packed
long double rows of pews, your best friend recognized me
after thirteen long years; walked slowly over to me; hugged me in front
of the hundreds, told me he was so sorry, and handed me
a picture he had found in your apartment,
of the babies.
You had not forgotten.
Tears. Tears.

Outdoors, in the June subdued afternoon,
after the sincere Christian funeral your mother arranged for you,
we joined the hundreds in grieving, as they solemnly burned
your motorcycle gang jacket in the cemetery, as a sign
that there would never be another you.
~
That - I already knew.
~
We taped the bitter news at 5:00 P.M.
Because of the hundreds of single-filed bikers,
the scene after your funeral made all the local stations.
That video remains the childrens’ tiny legacy.
~
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky.
Good-bye. Good-bye.
~
How I hate those words, the
frozen two, “good-bye”, and “die”.
Your children are nearing thirty now, yet tears
for their sorrow, can still spring to my remembering eye.
~
Bye-bye- all-American pie.
Good-bye.
Good-bye.
Good-bye.
~
~
~




 The spiritual wind that holds survivors aloft, plants the seeds from which bloom new hope ... R.J.G.





[This message has been edited by Rosemary J. Gwaltney (edited 05-14-2000).]
© Copyright 2000 Rosemary J. Gwaltney - All Rights Reserved
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


1 posted 05-13-2000 07:49 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Wow.  This bounced me back and forth from the past to the present and back again.  The title drug me in; I thought it would say it all...it did not...truth is stranger than fiction in all reality...

hugs, Rosemary, many, many hugs...
netswan
Senior Member
since 03-28-2000
Posts 1395
Washington


2 posted 05-13-2000 08:05 AM       View Profile for netswan   Email netswan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit netswan's Home Page   View IP for netswan

What a sad tale - and so well written.
Life has its way - that sometimes you
just shake your head and wonder at it
all.

Thanks for sharing - hope you and your
two children have done some healing from
this tragedy

netswan
lucky
Senior Member
since 01-17-2000
Posts 1648
Idaho


3 posted 05-13-2000 11:57 PM       View Profile for lucky   Email lucky   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for lucky

Times have certianly offered a trying... Such things we have to write of today... Thank God there grown and gone their way. You know I knew he hadn't seen them through any of their growing years, but I couldn't imagine the night you dredged up the stairs of courage to wake them and tell them their dad had been shot to death. You know I knew Jim differently in those early years and too, he did came to our rescue more than a time or two, (something I would have never believed.) I have to hand it to you on this one baby, thirty some years ago is a long time. Thank you my love for the sharing. (you can still surprize me of so much times forgot).

Always your Lucky, Dale



 If I could paint a portrait, of this life in which I've led, and somehow sketch a story, of the visions in my head, I'd start out with a canvas, stretched tightly in a frame, and in the bottom corner, I'd leave room to sign my name. (Michelle A. Bartley)
Rosemary J. Gwaltney
Senior Member
since 08-26-99
Posts 1064
northern mountains, Idaho


4 posted 05-14-2000 08:20 PM       View Profile for Rosemary J. Gwaltney   Email Rosemary J. Gwaltney   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Rosemary J. Gwaltney's Home Page   View IP for Rosemary J. Gwaltney

Sunshine - thank you for your caring.  Yes, it is true - truth, at least my own strange life's truth, is CERTAINLY stranger than fiction!

netswan - thank you so much for your response.  Life really makes me shake my head too, back and forth, with disbelief sometimes, and sorrow.

lucky - my darling, if it weren't for you, they would have had no daddy.  You gave them a daddy of their own.  Thank you for loving me through all the crazy years, as I have loved you.  Thank you for loving the children.  Thank you for being so unselfish and kind, and for replying to this old, sad memory that an old song at four in the morning blew back into my brain like an atom bomb.  Thank you for understanding.  Yes, he was a good man.  Thank you for remembering that too.
You, my sweetheart, are my hero of all time.
~ ~ ~



 The spiritual wind that holds survivors aloft, plants the seeds from which bloom new hope ... R.J.G.

doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


5 posted 05-14-2000 09:21 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Rosemary, this is so very poignant, real, and vivid. Thank you for sharing this.

And to both you and your husband... your posted words here bear witness to a love between two people that can survive and grow stronger through all the sordid circumstances of life. It is a breath of fresh air to view your love for each other.
Rosemary J. Gwaltney will be notified of replies
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