Glen Burkhalter, a 77-year-old resident of Granite, Okla., was chosen winner of the Men’s Division of the Oklahoma Conference on Aging Poetry Contest.
Glen has lived most of his life in southwest Oklahoma, graduating as valedictorian from Lake Creek High School in 1951. Lake Creek is a farming community five miles north and two miles west of Granite.
Poetry was one of Glen’s favorite subjects during his school days. He still likes to quote When the Frost Is on the Pumpkin by James Whitcomb Riley. Rhyme and meter in similar favorites became the standard by which Glen judged poetry.
The winning entry in this year’s contest is Daddy by Appointment. Glen said, “Broken homes are inevitably hard on everyone they touch. Children are especially affected. When divorce struck close to my family, I wrote the poem to illustrate how the children might respond to their new arrangements. When I entered the poem in the contest, I had no idea it might be selected as the winner. My hope was that, by it being included among the entries, it might be an influence for good; maybe helping someone to determine their home must remain intact. Winning was a surprise: the icing on the cake!”
Glen and his wife, Sue, have four children: two boys and two girls, each living in Oklahoma. They have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Glen is a Charter Member of the Southwest Oklahoma Writers League which meets monthly in the Margaret Carder Library in Mangum.
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