Where are you now Greg Shidler
I read an essay on writing poems
About ego, self, memories
Essentially the author said they are boring
My mind flashed to high school in Indiana.
A friend told our group,
hippie types including Greg Shidler.
Native Americans have straight
Unfortunately she did not skinny dip
so we never knew if it was true
I am driving through Oklahoma
thinking of the essay
Hot around the collar
I drive past Shidler Oklahoma
In the heart of Osage country
(Osage not in the computer dictionary, a whole race of people!)
where Greg Shidler
spent his summers with his Grandma
A friend 30 years lost
I never kissed him
nor him me
But we should have
both of us displaced
Last gossip I heard he had moved to California
with one of the popular girls, a cheerleader
She left him for another woman
I take a detour to Shidler
Stopping at a convenience store
Buying fried chicken
Asking "are there any Shidler's
Who live here"?
"Nope never have known any"
the younger man behind the counter grinned with nasty teeth
"Can you tell me where the graveyard is then"
wanting to pay homage to my friends family
"We don't have none, limestone is too close to the top"
previously published in Prairie Poetry