Randal A. Burd, Jr.
Randal A. Burd, Jr. is a married father of two and an educator who works with
the disadvantaged in rural Missouri. He holds a master's degree in English
Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri. Randal is currently
the Editor-in-Chief of Sparks of Calliope magazine. His latest collection of
poems, Memoirs of a Witness Tree, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in Summer
The Edge of Memory
His laughter still infects across the years,
Long absent since the days he was around—
The video conserves the cherished sound—
Distorted by effects of time and tears.
He occupies the edge of memory.
His ghost still haunts me when I least expect.
Yet, when I pause and try to recollect,
He hides in haze devoid of clarity.
So different than the person in my mind,
The one who now appears upon the screen
Objectively preserved, but seldom seen,
Is more authentic and far less refined.
I cannot trust my head to hold what's dear;
My heart and time are sure to interfere.
Originally published by Poetry Breakfast
On Better Days
On better days, the scented summer air
Would softly blow and gently tease my hair;
Few news events gave rise to much alarm;
We never felt we'd come to any harm;
The world had problems, but we didn't care.
But now we're told we always must prepare
For darker times ahead. The headlines scare
More than inform—incite more than disarm.
On better days,
My thoughts return more frequently to where
An optimistic child once played, and there
On summer days exploring grandpa's farm,
The future's possibilities had charm,
And we had positivity to spare...
On better days.
Echoes of Yesterday
She often sat here decades long before
The writing there was added to the wall,
Wrapped snugly in her favorite knitted shawl,
Forgetting pains she'd chosen to ignore.
Her memory has faded like this chair—
Its finish chipped away, its cushions torn—
Few people now around were then to mourn,
And fewer still know who was sitting there.
It's easy to forget she settled here
And lived and worked with dreams of better days.
An optimist, she'd often count the ways
Tomorrow'd be the highlight of her year.
Yet now this soul has long returned to dust;
Possessions left to chip and fade and rust.
Originally published by Nine Muses Poetry