Robert Halleck is a retired banker and hospice volunteer living in Del Mar, CA. He has a weakness for open mike poetry readings. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies in the past 50 years. Recently his poems have been published in the San Diego Poetry Anthology 2014-2015, Nu Verse News, Black Mirror, and Word Soup. On weekends he races Marlene, his old but still sturdy Porsche.
Under a sky moving from blue to black,
you look at the timed results to see
you have been the slowest of all drivers.
The angels have helped you to the beginning
of a new life filled with the fun of doing
instead of watching as others played .
The score doesn’t matter because God
cleared the bench allowing you to
get in the game.
We are on The 5 heading for an open mike
poetry reading. I have been silent. She asks
what are you thinking? I am thinking of nothing
but I had been. I had been traveling.
Years and miles. Years and miles to a
sunny summer day at a sand bar on the
Mississippi and a houseboat with speakers
drenching us with the sound of Robin Luke
singing “Susie Darling.”
Oh-uh Susie darling
I thought you knew
you were all the world to me
all my dreams come true.
She asks again and I say I was
thinking of nothing. A moment
from the past gone forever.
The Night Visitor
Last night while I was sleeping
my father crept into the bedroom.
I bumped into him on my way
back from my midnight pee.
“Don’t be a sucker.”
Again I heard his last words
The enigma remains. Time has
not brought clarity.
With care and patience he gave
lessons through the years we had.
His morality and self effacing
caused mistakes and failures.
A shortage of wisdom comes with
years. Youth knows all the answers.
I have fewer as I age and needed to
hear, “Don’t be a sucker.” Again
The rental apartment
was a disaster.
Words failed us
except for one,
We walked out,
got in our car,
and drove down
We need a place
to stay for a week.
We had a problem.
It could be solved
We had money.
We did not have a problem.