Member Monday: Enrique, by George Parker

photo of author
By George T. Parker

Today I am sharing a poem I recently wrote. I wrote it in response to a prompt from In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop, by Steve Kowit.

You can listen to me read the poem at our new Writers Forum Podcast.


   One of my favorite people

   For a couple of high school years.



   Blasts of Faux Chinese.

He built model planes, too.

   Not well,

      As told by the

         Brush strokes in the glossy paint

         And upside down American star and bar.

But his got put on display

   In the school library.

      Mine did not.


      Because he had the chutzpah to ask.

Sometimes high school insult humor

   Goes too far.

One day I went too far with Enrique.

After class, in the hall

   He grabbed my shirt front

   And shoved me against a locker.

He was rightfully pissed

   And I knew it.

So I didn’t react.

   I didn’t push back.

      We didn’t fight.

We went our separate ways

   But things were never

      The same


Enrique joined the Marines.

One day I heard about

   A car bomb in Beirut.

241 dead American servicemen.

   220 of them Marines.

Holy shit.


I called everyone I knew who

   Might still be in touch

      With Enrique.

Nobody heard anything.

Nobody knew anything.

I saw lists of names,

   Partial lists.

I never saw Enrique’s name.

   That was a good thing.


As years passed by

   And I encountered other

      Round Lakeoids

One of my questions was always,

   “Have you heard anything about


Nobody had ever heard anything.

   That was a good thing.


And then…



   After years of finding

      Old friends and classmates,

There he is.


Safe. Successful.

   Selling cars in Chicago-land.

It doesn’t surprise me

   That Enrique is good at

      Selling cars.

Today we remain


      More than ‘friends.’

But learning that

   Enrique is okay

Was one of the joys

   Of my


George T. Parker ©2021

Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think. This is only the beginning of the sorts of things we can do with a podcast for Writers Forum. If you are a Writers Forum member, you can head over to a discussion with other Writers Forum members at the private Facebook group Redding Writers Forum.

I will be talking about Poet Laureates, and in particular, California’s Poet Laureate on next week’s podcast.

Thanks, and have a great day!


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3 thoughts on “Member Monday: Enrique, by George Parker

  1. Nice! I really enjoyed listening to your poem. Sometimes poetry is good to read, but hearing it is like listening to a song.

  2. Love the poem. That is life, isn’t it? Friendships end for such bizarre reasons, but we still keep caring.

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