Real, Love

(While at the hospital two years ago for the birth of our new grandson, I spoke to a father whose daughter was undergoing chemotherapy. These were his words.)

So I cannot cease,
Nor can rest,
Knowing you’re in pain –

I would do and I
Would undo
So many things now

My child: if I could
Somehow trade
Places with you here —

My heart lies open:
Why can’t I
Save you like I should?


The Ghost of Christmas Failed

There’s clamor in the house tonight
And tempers running high;
With people disappointed
In the year that’s just gone by –

We hurt each other so,
But we just will not change our ways;
I wish that I could fix us
And could lift off this malaise –

There’s fire in my belly, and
There’s aching in my head;
The Christmas lights are up
But all they symbolize seems dead –

I want to run away from here
And don’t care where I roam:
From this family, with its secrets,
And this house that’s not
A home

(Originally posted 12-25-2013)

Just A Dad For Show

You’re just a dad for show
That’s all you ever effing were:
Pretending that you care
So much about both him and her

No you cannot be bothered
When they each need you to be you —
But put on some performance when
You think
Can see you

A Different Kind of Gratitude

We sang, for we were born to sing:
The five of us, at home;
For harmony was quite the thing,
And music, polychrome

In wintertime, the carols flew,
The images, as well:
Each story, be they stretched, or true,
Delivered on the tell

Yet fierce the moments sometimes, though –
Like winter wind that’s blowing —
We grew the way we had to grow,
Then went where we were going

But music stayed: a dancing fire
Lighting up the cold,
In melodies of innocence
And echoes for the old

And though the veil comes down for some
And soon will claim the rest,
I’m grateful that I had the chance,
And that I can attest

To music and to harmony,
To love that lingers late,
And all that makes us who we are:
Our legacy
And fate

Aunt Diane

Whenever family heartbreak came
The problems big or small;
We all would call my Aunt Diane
Who could sort out them all

She didn’t know of hatred and
Advice she gave but spare;
But all of us would go to her
And she was always there

I reached an age, however
Where I would stand on my own
And though my troubles came in waves
I never used the phone

To call my Aunt Diane because
I was my own damn man;
As years turned into bitterness
And new heartaches began

Just yesterday, I got the call
That she had passed away
I saw her this last weekend
On my daughter’s wedding day

My Aunt Diane I somehow thought
Would always just be there
Because, in pride, I wouldn’t call
She’ll never know
I cared