Gene Kimmet

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Born in Lima, Ohio, a town with a long history of heavy industrial production, Kimmet draws from his memories of growing up during the Depression and World War II, focusing on the people and the mill-town setting which left an everlasting mark. The poetry is well crafted with a keen ear for rhythms and sounds, and the subject matter captures the innocence of youth filtered through the wisdom of the aging poet. Reflections of My Father presents its subjects expressively without venturing into emotional sentimentality. The collection stands as an intriguing read and an important poetic document to hand down among the generations.

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RECOLLECTIONS OF MY FATHER

At twelve I watched for him in winter dusk,
A weary figure leaning into wind,
His black lunch bucket clamped beneath his arm.

At seventeen we stalked November fields,
Culled pheasants from rows of dried corn stalks,
The only dialogue our twelve-gauge guns.

The space between us grew as we grew old.
We talked of weather and of baseball games,
Our private thoughts kept safely locked away.

Three days before he died I came to him,
His skin transparent, fierce eyes filled with pain.
We tried to speak but habit held our tongues.

Today, I stand again before his stone.
Chiseled names stretch down to the river’s edge,
The rusted rails and empty shops all mute.

A sudden slant of sun and I recall
When I was four, on a bright Easter morn
He carried me through the green grass of spring
To find a blue egg in a hollow oak.

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Gene and Gloria Kimmet discuss Recollections of My Father with Canopic editor Virginia Smith Rice