Frost Lines

The lines of frost.

The lines of frost across the leaves
Now deep within my face

And whence the once-brown hair had grown
The frost now takes its place

From Autumn into Winter comes
A chill that changes things

Beneath the dying leaves and frost
A seed
Of new life
Springs

Grandmother / Mother

A true story.

her thread came loose —

i was but a boy
maybe eight years old
and she

and she kept repeating herself —

she could not remember
what she’d just told us
and it frightened me

like i’d landed in a madhouse —

not my grandmother’s
new condo
where we came to visit

my mother talked to me in the car —

what’s wrong with grandma?

She is going through [what was then usually called] senility
She loses her sense of where she is, and
Time goes back and forth
In her head

but why?

It’s something that sometimes happens…
‘Senility’ is God’s way of reminding us that…
That the mind and the soul
Are not the same thing

will she get better?

No, son, she won’t.
Her mind will gradually unravel
Until she’s ready

ready for what?

To be free

Love Is For The Young

I’ve been asked the question.

“You’re old,” they said.
“Why do you speak of love?
For everyone knows love
Is for the young -”

Indeed, I am not young, I’ve lived
A half-a-century;
I’ve seen the seasons go and
Changes rung —

But love, I think’s perennial,
It always comes around;
It has a way of
Filling up our lives

Until we can see nothing else
And no one else, besides.
It’s there with us,
And like us it
Survives

Mind Is Just A State of Age

Confused.

When very young, I was confused
Exactly who was who

When starting school, quite overwhelmed
With all there was to do

In junior high, I was depressed
About the other sex

In high school, I sank lower in
All life’s other respects

I tried to join the Air Force, but
That didn’t go too well

And college raised more questions
That bewildered me, as well

Like how to earn a living and
How to become grown up

And why you should stop drinking after
Your beer’s been thrown up

My early working years, chaotic
New quirks came to light

Like: while I’m good at math
That doesn’t mean my checkbook’s right

And dating was disorienting
That game, so unreal

Like how you must pretend
Your heart’s desire’s no big deal

But somehow, I got married, and
Perhaps oddest of all

I had to learn to hold her purse
While standing in the mall

And children are confounding, they
Are so mixed-up inside

Because, of course, they’re just like us
Completely mystified

I did divorce, that’s all a blur
She wanted someone other

The day your wife merely becomes
Your ex, your child’s mother

Remarriage and stepchildren brought
A new type of chagrin

To realize your ill-equipped
For the role you’re now in

And now, I am past fifty-three
Retirement is looming

And life’s complexities will grow
At least, I am assuming

Because our minds try to make sense
Out of what is too great

We sometimes only stop to breathe
The second
It’s too late

Only One Love

He stands with a tray of Chick-fil-A
Out in the mall food court;
A man who’s in his seventies
The quiet, smiling sort

And he gets tired on his feet –
For he stands most the day;
So people ask him why he doesn’t
Just go home, and stay

They do not know his heart when
They suggest that he move on:
The grief he finds at home
These lonely years
Since she’s
Been gone

A Memory

Here’s my daughter and her friend
Waiting for the wave to fall;
Moments just before it hit —
Laughter, soon to peal in scads

Days I wished would never end –
Blue-green sea, and sky o’er all:
Having fun in all of it —
With girls (now women) who still needed
Dads