Golden: Poetry

By Paul Swenson


Hey, Brother Golden,

what’s it like over there?

You ever share your coffee

with the other cowboys

’round that celestial fire?

Does it burn as fine

and new as you hoped

it would when you said

you couldn’t wait

‘til you were dead

to get the final clue—

as to whether

what you’d been

preachin’ all those

years was true?


They laugh in heaven?

Must do, since you

arrived. Accident

or irony connived

to kill you

in a car crash—

long after hot-

rodders splashed

mud on you,

drenched you good

at Temple Square.

Shook your cane,


“No respect

for Priesthood.”


You go blind

trying to find

the father

of that guy

who asked you

if you’d mind

keeping an eye

out for his dad

once you reached

the other side?

Well, was it a crime

or just your wit

you said it might

take time to look

all over hell?


Your genealogy

through Heber C.,

does it help

in heaven?

Odd you wear

the Kimball name,

yet nimbly merge

the sacred

and profane.

Miss the old days

when you were young?

Ways were rough

and rowdy—

and your tongue was