Every once in a while I check the obituaries in Bismarck North Dakota to see if someone from my past is in there. I think when you get older you tend to sneak a peek now and then. But yesterday I came upon an obituary of a woman who was survived by her daughter and her ex-husband Kenny. There was virtually no other information than that… which I thought was a bit odd.

So I wondered, what’s their story? These days I have plenty of time on my hands, so I wrote this ode to Kenny and Cindy.


we met up at the Elks Club
in Oak Lawn, Illinois
for the bulldog reunion
at old Richards High
I don’t know who’s gonna be there
but fewer this time
for the 30 year old recap
of mysteries and lies

oh brother you look familiar
I should be, hey it’s Toot
wow it’s so great to see you
thanks I’m doin pretty good
did you hear about Kenny
you mean Kenny Beshear
I guess he isn’t coming
to the party this year

what do you hear about him
not really that much
after graduation was over
we kinda lost touch
well Cindy Maynard and him
got married right away
he drove truck there at Loeffler’s
she waitressed at Jay’s

he got tired of the driving
just after a year
his life was a noose
in a black hole career
when sweet baby Emma
came onto the scene
He looked for a way
to be all he could be

he signed up for three years
11 bravo 1st Cav
pulled a 9 month tour of duty
in Afghanistan
Ronnie Wade was there too
friends back in the day
good times til a IED
blew Ronnie away

when Kenny got stateside
he was messed up real bad
his mind became a bomb
that blew up in rehab
9 months in the V.A.
they do the best they can
but they couldn’t put Kenny
back together again

Stacie just told me
he’s on SSI
selling copper and cans
in Blue Ash, Ohio
he split up with Cindy
never called her again
keeps on drinking and thinking
with a mind that won’t mend

Cindy died of the cancer
about two months ago
she never remarried
raised her Emmie alone
and the last thing she told her
Em I want you to know
you can still have your dreams
if you never lose hope

but it’s all such a shame
and for me hard to hear
everybody liked Kenny
and Cindy round here
so if you’re living or dying
just be sure you pray too
cuz you don’t know the dance
life is taking you to

by Greg Nelson
© Poppie’s Hallel

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