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)

The News

Hello, my friend.
Here is the news:
We’re fast within
The life we choose

For sure, we choose it
Every day:
To be out here
And live this way

For time has properties
Immense,
And choice is never just
Past tense

The children grew as children will,
They each have left for pastures green –
The nights are pure; the mornings, still —
The hours gentle in between

And so, my friend,
Here are the facts:
The train keeps rolling
Down the tracks

The train of time
That never stops;
It runs through city
And through copse

Out here, to where
We daily age,
And as a novel,
Turn each page

The life we lived, the daily lift –
That once we chose, and daily choose:
It’s still to me a wondrous gift —
We have for now.
And that’s
The news

To Try the Sky

A boy, I marveled at the clouds,
So strange and wondrous in the sky;
I’d spread my arms and try to fly,
Admired by the watching crowds.

I knew that I would not stay small,
One day my shoes would scuff their fluff —
But now that I am large enough,
I rarely look at them at all.

So many times, before we die,
We’ve died to all we ever dream:
And clouds become just so much steam,
And boys who dreamed become

Some guy

The Hidden Cost of Our Choices

There’s an economy of our desires
Where we want more than we can ever get
And day-to-day, as circumstance transpires
We long to do the things we haven’t yet

Some choices other things from us preclude
While more than one desire within us dwells
This is a fact not to be misconstrued
By what we choose, we forfeit something else

So even if we use no currency
We find that nothing that we choose is free

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)

Rocking Chair

I softly knocked upon a door
No longer mine for knocking,
And saw within the empty room
A chair still gently rocking

It sat there, neat within its dust,
More lonely now, than squalid;
For what it held had gone away
Where few now can recall it

For love, it whispers in the dark,
While hate blows trumpets often;
We box ourselves into such lives
As just lead to a coffin

But I have known this rocking chair
When all it was, was quiet;
Away from all the growth of lies
That make our daily riot

I knocked, and entered, stood and looked,
The dust it tumbled in the sun,
And maybe I gave up, back then,
But maybe – all of that is done

For love can heal when all else fails.
Those years go by, and bad ones;
We comfort how and where we can
The lonely and the sad ones

For every dream and every heart;
For voices: singing, talking —
Can still live on within such rooms
Like chairs that just
Keep rocking