Michael Shutt

Rookie - 20 Points (Kokomo)

Goodbye, Rockford


'I've thought a lot
about Jim Garner
in the week 
gone past.

Since he passed.

I always 
loved you,
Jimmy.

Hell.

If Obits
written across
a country
mean anything,

America loved
you too.

Charming,

Amusing.

Witty.

Urbane,

and yet,
you never got
too selfsome sure,

to ever
be above us.

Or forgot
the daily man.

You were
so Cool.

Cowardly Cool.

Rockford would
talk his way
out of a fight.

And watching him
on Friday Nights,

You truly were
the definition
of the way to live,

On Jacks
and Queens. 

Week
After Week.

I watched you
every week.

Hell, Jim.

We all did.

And loved you.

How could  I
Not think
Of Jim Garner
on this week
gone past?

My thoughts 
now go to
growing up,

With tongue
in cheek,

And  You,
So Cool,
So Mild
and Meek.

And I,

Dear Jim,
What Great Escapes 
I had
at Woodland.

Seeing you 
up on 
the Screen.

What a grand 
prix screen
you laid before
my late Stepdad-

And he would tell me
Watching Files

How when He
was a Lad...

How a 
Riverboat's Bell
made him smile,

and He'd tell me
of Maverick.

Fare thee well.

How could I
not think 
of Jim Garner
this past week?

How Sweet
It Is?

Remembering now.

Romance-

That Murphy
brought to
Sally Field?

And brought
to you
a Golden Nod?

From Hollywood?

I think
you'd rather been
back home
in Norman.

Move over, Darling.

And,

Seeking Home,

a home 
you found.

And made 
a near 
Six Decades
love nest there.

For that alone,

while waiting
for Jim Rockford
on each
Friday night,

You'd go
into my files.

The thrill
of it all
in my young
children's hour-

My God.

Jim.

You kissed
Julie Andrews.

And not 
just once!

At Sunset.

And 
at Twilight.

Damned right 
that I think
of Jim Garner
on this night.

The thrill 
of it all
comes to this,
Cash McCall.

Your legacy's
not in a
gold Trans Am.

But almost
60 Years
worn in
a wedding band.

And in
Korea.

And called
air strikes
upon Yourself.

How many
lives were saved. 

When calling
down bombs
on yourself.

And you 
refused the honor-

Recognition
Twice.

In the Hour 
of the Gun?

I'd say
that sealed
your Legacy.

As a Man.

The rest,
Jim,

Just were
Heartsongs.

And Rockford's Files
can now
no longer speak.

But what 
can Speak
Speaks of

a Gentleman.

More than
a Movie Star.

Is that
not better
than a trunk
of Oscars
hidden in 
a golden
Trans Am trunk?

I feel 
such damned loss.

Thinking of
James Garner 
this sad week. 

Submitted: Monday, July 28, 2014

Topic of this poem: loss


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

The death of James Garner

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