Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


by Robert E. Petras

That’s how I am going to feel—beginning retirement—
like fifth grade when school let out for summer vacation
and Tim Maple and I that morning played wiffle ball
on tar-graveled Howard Street above his house,
a day we both topped Roger Maris’s home run record
of 61 in a single game.
I noticed maple trees shaded his family’s yard and wished
my family had a tree named after us.
I scanned above the rippling treetops
and gazed at the mellow clouds surrounded in blue.

I dropped the ball.

I learned later, much later,
Petras means rock cutter and when I leave
from work that final day for endless summer vacation
I am going to lay flowers on Tim’s grave
and take some solace a rock cutter hewed his headstone;
then I am going to stare at the sky
and see whether the clouds have moved.

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