Patricia Butkovich
2011 Mississippi Senior Poet Laureate

Patricia Butkovich, 72, Gautier, is a retired educator. She was a 1st-grade teacher for thirty-five years. Now, besides golfing and sailing, she enjoys a literary life that includes active participation in the Mississippi Poetry Society’s activities. Patricia has been widely published and has won many awards for poetry. This is her debut as a Senior Poet Laureate award winner. Her birth sign is Aries.


It’s a quarter to twelve
No need to look at the clock
I know the time because
I find myself listening,
Straining to hear the familiar sound
Of daddy’s little black pick-up truck,
New about ten years ago,
As he shifted into second gear
To climb the steep gravel driveway,
Then the slam of the screen door on the porch
“Dinner ready?” as he breathed in the aroma
Coming from the pot roast on the stove,
Threw the denim cap
Upside down on the floor,
The sweat stained head band showing,
And walked to the kitchen sink to wash away the field dirt.

The stove is cold today
The air just air to breathe
Mother wanders slowly into the kitchen
Stands by the window and stares
At the tailgate of the truck
Protruding from the garage.

She’s been listening too.

Patricia Butkovich