. June in memory of Johnny Cash (1932--2003) Johnny was no average guy, __The troubled man in black. His life, by evil, went awry, __And loving brought it back. The radio and Mama’s hymns __Filled up his youthful heart. Jack’s accident and Daddy’s whims __Then tore his heart apart. At home they called him J.R., __The Air Force made it John, But Johnny Cash would be the star __The groupies wished upon. The fifties brought him glory. __He sang his mournful rhymes. He told the truthful stories __Of tough and tougher times. Some say that Country, Rock & Roll, __The tours, the sex, the pills, Were risky games and, as a whole, __They started all his ills. But Johnny knew he couldn’t blame __The drugs or gals or gold. He knew he’d shoulder all the shame. __His soul would pay the toll. While lying deep inside a cave, __Alone and giving in, His heart found only love could save __Him from his life of sin. He slowly raised himself above __The filth upon the floor, And somehow found his way to love __At sweet June Carter’s door. When Johnny lost his joy and spine, __His life down in the mire, June made him want to walk the line, __Embrace that ring of fire. . . Mike Bryant is a poet and retired plumber living on the Gulf Coast of Texas.