Eating breakfast this morning I looked
at my bowl of Cheerios, the aged cereal of toddlers,
and thought of you. You came to mind
when I passed Falcon Ridge Drive yesterday, too.
Of course, while sewing I looked for that
tiny angel doing the two-step on the head
of my straight pin as my ear swiveled to catch
a Thelonius Monk tune coming
from my neighbor’s window. I remember
that it was that tiny winged-bugger
who prompted me to head to the south end
of Long Island a few years ago where
you and I sat at a lunch table with your fans
and ants and writers who thought heaven must
feel better than this, but not much.
I wonder often at the genius of you.
Reading, observing, then writing, finding
the twist, the wit, the silly-billy truth.
And me, the wannabe, who smiles
knowing that confidence makes the man
and you have rarely lacked that,
or so it seems, as you speak to thousands,
silently chiding the cats who pursue poetry
but who have not yet mastered prose.
You dog, you. Already beautiful as you
pen the next poem and ride the next wave.
Happy Birthday, Billy. You are
one for the ages and you, sir,
have made all the difference to me.