Waiting Room

I’m sitting in a waiting room
And choose to write this verse;
The snow is blowing hard outside
The wind keeps getting worse —

Winter once was magical
With castles made of snow;
But now the world is blank, and I
Can’t see which way to go —

The wait is over, and my child
Is here, so we depart;
We speak of senseless nothings as
We head into the heart

Of this relentless blizzard
Where we’re greeted by a blast:
Just two more people cold and lost
In problems
Way too
Vast


 

(“Waiting Room” – 1-26-2015)

This Empty Room

This empty room sits silent in the sunbeams
My footsteps on the carpet shuffle hollow:
We moved a thousand things – all of our old dreams –
But where you go, I can no longer follow

We lay here once as lovers in the darkness
I felt your velvet skin as it was burning;
Whatever thing there is that moves us – sparks us –
It’s gone away, and there is no returning

I move towards the door, a final shiver
The ghost of love departs to take his sleep:
This empty room sits silent by the river
Of vanished hope
And vows
We could not
Keep

A Dating Story

We walked along pretending
That we, too, owned boats.
We each barely owned shoes,
But we looked good, we thought:
For our particular brand of penury
Has never hurt the young.

She was very blonde, her family
Swedish, but her skin looked like
It didn’t care for sun that much.
She wore a hat, her blonde hair blowing
Everywhere around its edges, and
Behind her sunglasses.

I was bright in my array, and
Proud of who I walked with, although
Perhaps it wasn’t as rare an occurrence
For her as I might have thought at the time.
No matter: she was with me, when she was,
And there we were.

We split a Coke late in the day,
With change I’d found in the sofa cushions,
And rode my old car back to town,
Where I dropped her off so she could get ready
To go to work at the theater.

If you are wondering why
Our particular date didn’t really have anything like
Events in it, so did I, after almost every date.

But as stories go,
It has at least the merit
Of being true

She Left Me For The Rainbow

Some years ago, she left me for the rainbow.
This I do not regret, but I did then:
I walked in blue as our dreams were abandoned
The things that could not be, but might have been –

An orange sunset, indigo and violet
The sky beside the beach where we would be:
But I’d grow red in anger and resentment
To know that she and I were she and she

But green grows time and love blooms in an instant
And every reason flows to where it should:
The yellow sun breaks through the clouds of mourning
As rainbows hail the coming of the good

The ground where love once grew can still be watered
Or it will grow indifference, or much worse:
She left me for the rainbow and in heartache
I lived to find new love
And write this verse

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

Falling, In Love

[Originally posted May, 2018. 30 days of prose, day 10. – Owen]


Falling in love is like stepping off of a flying airplane; them loving you back would be the parachute. But that parachute doesn’t always open.

Splat.

Love in relationships always comes with risk. We can’t know what others are really thinking, and we can’t know how years or circumstances might change them. But we step out anyway.

And sometimes, we crash.

Hearts, however, are usually stronger than bodies, kind of like the flight recorder on a airplane.* They are usually ready shortly for service on another flight. The decision to step off a plane again, though, gets much harder.

Before I met my wife, I had lots and lots of practice at falling in love. Many of these were more like falling of a curb than an airplane: short fall, easy landing, right back up, no problem. But others were harder: awkward falls off of bicycles, and diving boards, and even a roof or two.

Finally, I stepped off a plane for real, and man did it feel good. Scenery rushing by, blue skies, green pastures, and another person there with me. It was such a rush.

Then I hit ground, hard, in a fenced off area called “divorce”. As I lay there, wounded, I saw her (my ex) bounce immediately up and get on another plane.

One person’s crash is another person’s escape, I guess.


So why do we do it? Why do we try again?

I can’t answer for you, but I can answer for myself. I loved the feeling that came with stepping off of that airplane, and I wanted to feel it again. In addition, I wasn’t going to let one person stand in for any other person I might love for the rest of my life. For that next person might be my parachute, and I might be hers.

The other reason I had for trying again came from an observation I’d made, which was: planes can crash whether we ever get off them or not. Isolating myself hadn’t prevented crashes in the past, but it had prevented joy.

In the end, we love because we’re made to love, and because the choices of others do not determine who we are.

But it sure feels like they do those times we hit ground.


* I innocently asked my dad when I was a kid why they didn’t make planes out of the same material as flight recorders so that people would survive the crash. I got a long explanation on the aerodynamics of heavier metals.

Heart of Daftness

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I had a crush
A crush I had
When I was just a boy –
I wanted to
Impress her, so
I came up with this ploy…

I ordered from
A comic book
A Spider-Man wrist band;
So I could catch her
In my web
And bring her close to hand.

But when I got it
In the mail
It wasn’t quite the thing –
A suction cup,
On one small dart,
Tied to a flimsy string.

But still the picture
In my mind
I just to had to pursue:
‘Cause when I caught her
(And I would!)
She’d love me, this I knew.

So she walked by,
She walked by me,
One day, right after school –
As I stood ready
“Spider-Man”
Not knowing fate is cruel.

I shot my dart
Like Cupid does
But I completely missed.
A hopeless nerd,
A loveless case,
With strings tied to his wrist.

And suddenly
I realized
For everyone to see
A super-hero
I was not
Nor would I ever be

From fantasy
To harsh real world
Are two extreme extremes:
The hobbies of
Teenagers might be
Our most desperate dreams