Filling Station

Once
A woman and her husband
Stopped at this place

She, eight months with child
He, thinking about walking out
And the drive had been a tense one
Old wounds reopened
Fresh hurts on display

And an old couple was there
At the same time
Laughing while they pumped gas
They asked her when the baby was due

She said, “One month.”

The old man asked her husband
“Are you excited?”
“Nervous,” was the reply

“Don’t be. Just remember:
Loving someone
Who loves you back
Is the greatest thing in the world.
And your child
Will love you back.”

Forty-eight years later
The woman is no longer young
She stands at this abandoned place
Her young granddaughter in tow.
“What is this place?” the little girl asks

This place?
This is where your grandaddy and I

Decided to stay in love


 

(“Filling Station” – 8-15-2014)

Imperious

She made the laws, and he could stay, or not.

It was her game, and he a pawn or rook —

It wasn’t quite a trap; he wasn’t caught — 

But more strength than he had was what it took

To change his part within her plotted book —

And so he was obsequious and fawning

And did as he was told, while she sat

Yawning

That Door

If that door never opens
It’s locked for good one day;
And dreams, and jobs, and memories
Just up and go away

That door is watched here, daily.
They count the times it swings:
And if the number gets too low,
They’re on to other things

Then one day, we want choices,
But all of them seem poor –
For things were better, once, but we
Just never used that door —

If that door never opens
It’s locked for good one day;
And dreams, and jobs, and memories
Just up and go
Away

Almost

When she was almost young, she slept
Next to the fields of pure delight;
When she went almost out, she heard
Of secret pleasures in the night

When she felt almost love, she dreamed
Of freedom found in ecstasy —
Yes, when she almost lived, she lived
Just two doors down
From me


 

(“Almost” – 5-21-2017)

The Old Days Cannot Hold You

The old days cannot hold you anymore.
Walls once thought so forbidding disappear;
Within the old life’s empty, cracked veneer
Now freedom beckons through the waiting door

If you keep your eyes open, you will know:
This place has never meant security.
There’s more to you than simple pliancy;
Just take a breath
And make your choice
And go