“Lordy” by Joan Colby

Joan Colby


The word ejects my father from the grave.

Enthusiastic: Lordy, followed by a volley
Of inspiration like migrating blackbirds.

Or weary. Oh Lordy, with a sigh like fog settling
In a valley at nightfall.

Hardly anyone says Lordy now. The deep-south boy
He was still barefoot in a business suit and tie.

I’d give a lot to hear him say Lordy,
Once again. Even in exasperation

At my naivete. Young and full of idealistic
Fervor to join the Cuban rebels.

Oh Lordy, how he shook his head.
How I deliberately goaded that

Loaded interjection. According to Merriam-
Webster it expresses surprise or strength of

Feeling. I liked to stab through his aloofness
To the heart of what he’d find appalling.

That’s how you measure if someone cares,
When you can jerk the leash of comfort

To release that word: Lordy.
Comey said Lordy, I hope …

And I hope too that, someday, someone will read
A poem of mine and stop cold and say Lordy.

Poets Respond
June 18, 2017


Joan Colby: “The poem was inspired by James Comey’s statement during his testimony ‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes,’ which reminded me of my dad’s favorite utterance and brought him back to life for me.” (website)

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