Remembering Roy by Thomas Martin Sobottke

drives a ’59 Chrysler
with fins.
Limbs sprawled
spiderlike, over the immitation naugahide.
like dead soldiers,
shot down
on the control room floor.
Came in,
told him his wife had called,
No furrowed brow,
just lines
carved deep
by smoky neon Honky Tonks.
Belly distended,
a boiling cauldron that
spews something foul
speaking of night tours
with Jack Daniels,

tells me
you measure a man
by his handshake.
Roy Clark’s was best.
Merle Haggard was second.
could pump fifty thousand barrels
of Oklahoma crude.

On the air in six minutes:
country music will make her understand.

One thought on “Remembering Roy by Thomas Martin Sobottke

  1. This is an old poem I wrote to help recall a brawling country boy of some 50 years who I found on the couch of the control room at four in the morning at KHAS Radio in Hastings, Nebraska so many years ago. Roy was a fixture at the station, and in a WKRP moment, I had my inspiration to memorialize him. What his wife thought of his lifestyle of going out Honky Tonking all night without her and then playing country music to sooth her I do not know.

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