18 Mar Robert
ROBERT lies behind leaves and grass.
I drive by on my way to work and offer a glance.
ROBERT lies beyond the pavement’s edge,
at the foot of a stone outcropping—
a natural shelter from the rain.
It used to be I’d wonder who ROBERT was
and who put ROBERT there.
Someone who needed not to forget?
Someone special? Someone caring?
I used to wonder what unfortunate event
led that special someone to care enough
to put ROBERT where everyone could see.
But ROBERT now lies behind leaves and grass,
buried for four seasons now without a hand
to clear the mess the roadside can collect.
I wonder less about ROBERT now
and more about that special someone.
Where did they go? Where have they been?
I wonder what unforeseen event has prevented
them from tending to the leaves and grass,
the ice and snow, the layers of sand.
Has ROBERT gone missing from their memory?
How long before ROBERT goes missing from mine?
Maybe it was worry, or maybe it was fear,
but I couldn’t drive by another day knowing,
allowing this memory to wear thin
until one day I no longer offer a glance
and the memory is buried like the bits and pieces
of debris that collect at the pavement’s edge.
So, this morning I left early and pulled over
near the spot where ROBERT was last seen.
I raked away leaves and grass and there it was:
a small wooden sign painted white with black lettering,
placed to commemorate a soul taken, claimed
by one of life’s many unexplained accidents.
ROBERT. Gone but not forgotten.
Kurt Newton’s poetry has appeared at Cajun Mutt Press, Unlikely Stories Mark V and Horror Sleaze Trash, and in the pages of Alien Buddha Zine. His most recent poetry collection, Nazi Swastika Bikini Wax Illuminati, a dark and humorous commentary on today’s society, was published by Alien Buddha Press in 2019.