Gene Kimmet

The Search

Each year as autumn light descends
I am drawn to seek some message
From the silent world he traveled –
A sign, a shadow, a whispered word.

He could be that last leaf clinging
To a barren branch, the solitary crow
That turns its head to stare
And does not fly as I approach,
The vole that scours a patch of weeds
For seed to fill its winter store.

His could be the single set of prints
That fill and dim in falling snow
On the path to the river’s edge.
I do not see them rising
From the other bank.

I comb the ragged town
With its boarded houses, empty
Streets to catch, from the corner
Of my eye, a fleeting figure
That always turns away.

When I was twenty
And lived in the city
In a rented room, he wrote
One letter, half a page
Of fishing in the rain.
It held two wrinkled
Dollar bills.

Gene Kimmet is a retired professor of economics from Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.

He was born in Lima, Ohio, a town with a long history of heavy industrial production. Kimmet worked at a variety of jobs there, including lens grinder, foundry worker, service station operator, and salesman, before receiving a BA in economics from Ohio Northern University. He later earned an MA in economics from Case Western Reserve University and a post master’s degree in economics from Northern Illinois University.

Kimmet has also done extensive graduate work in English and creative writing at Northern Illinois University and the University of Virginia.

His poetry collections include Recollections of My Father  (Canopic Publishing, 2015),  Skipping Stone (Dream Stone Press, 2000) and In Fee Simple (Stormline Press, 1986.)