Goodbye Linda Rae
     

    Remembering Linda Rae York - the Truth at Last


    Photograph of Linda Rae York and Danny Friedman, Rush Week Washington and Lee University 1963


    Roanoke & Lexington Virginia 1962

    Far off car, radio plays,
    deep in night, stand and gaze,
    by Roanoke's star, ruby haze.
    Soft, her voice, sapphire eyes,
    Linda's look, solemn sighs.

    Misty too the future lays
    summers lost, winters days
    sudden endings by surprise
    secrets tell not how they died
    cruel love ended, ugly lies.

    Promised lonely lives unmade,
    moments lost too many days
    far off lovers wander'd crazed,
    left quite dark, broken ways.
    Heavy heartsongs still get played

    Wrinkled face, hair quite gray,
    nightly memory sadly strays,
    to sleepless time, to lonely maze
    abandoned dreams, misty gaze
    faroff eyes, soft, blue, gray.

    Her summer voice on mountains made
    sweet gentle music, passing played,
    echoed answers quickly fade,
    so swiftly gone, so saddened days,
    unforgiven, cruel, passed that way.

    A Coward's Secret

    Deprogrammed dazed a
    rat in maze he's held there crazed
    screamed threats for days
    they could not stop the vicious ways
    til manboy, weak, afraid, obeys

    In Lex motel Teal and Dan
    sigh relief at their young "man"
    course re-set, back in traces,
    harnessed up, a mule now paces
    smiling now, they've got their plan.

    Four days locked he's hazed, amazed
    a deprogramming reprogramming awful phase
    threats, and charges, shouts and plays
    kidnapped, sequestered, imprisoned, ways
    until at last, broken he sways, ok's...

    Motel door bursts open, wild, raged,
    manboy programmed, robot, crazed
    leans breathless, the frozen phone booth
    dials, ugly, mean uncouth, lies,
    zombie, repeats ugly untruth.

    "I don't love you" quick he lies
    spit out, o'er cliff he flies
    fast so fast momentum went
    no clawing back no silence bent
    but stupid neutered manboy, cries

    Aghast a moan moves back by wire
    "I don't believe you" hard she cries.
    Tears stream down both their faces.
    Love's murdered lost embraces,
    faint, each falls, alone, cold fire.

    A decade, two, then more,
    a Thanksgiving day implores
    he calls her mother, just once more
    "She's not here" throat full, she lies
    "Leave her alone" voice breaks, she cries

    As close as breath
    her voice, her scent
    guilty sorrows, senses rent
    the truth is hidden
    the story, unbidden.

    Perhaps she's forgotten
    that call misbegotten
    she sweet, he rotten,
    she off to nurse,
    he lost. Cursed.

    Each day forever now he dies
    a coward's limp sick liar's lies
    an ugly crooked truth untold,
    her, crusted wounds now simply, old
    his, coward's death, alone

    Daniel Friedman's Poetry & Short Stories
    Daniel Friedman's bio

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