For John Gardiner
By Charles Ardinger

When you hear he was driving when
that gigantic heart burst and silenced that

voice’s warm explosions of love you might
imagine a proud bear who roamed his forest
and see the power in that sure stride even
as the city installs noise and stink for progress
defining him into all our yesterdays

where he lives now in our stage-lit memories where
that big laugh never quits. I think he’d like that.

Charles Ardinger lives in Huntington Beach, California, with his wife and cat, both of whom he loves very much, and teaches at Coastline Community College. He has been working at poetry for about the last twenty-five years.