Painting Dots

The house we’re in now’s not the one
In which the kids got bigger;
The little mem’ries I have lost –
The count’s too great to figure

For life’s a craft of painting dots
These flecks of hopes and prayers
That only form a picture when
There’s no one left
Who cares

I Tried To Dance

IMG_0196.JPG

I tried to dance,
And hoped that you would notice me;
I tried to sing,
But you had left the room

Tried to excel,
And hoped you would approve of me –
I learned some tricks
You never stopped to view

I wanted you to see me and
To like me;
To talk to you, accepted
Without qualms

I just wished that you noticed
And you loved me –
I wish that you were more like
Other moms


 

(“I Tried To Dance” – 10-17-2014)

How Soon They Forget

A boy and his mother, slowly walking
Kids voices behind them, indistinct
His head down, she reaches out to stroke his hair
He says to her, as they reach the car,
“I’m not good at sports.”

Stopping beside the car,
She looks at him, this little man (he’s become)
And says, “Sure, you are.”

“No, I’m not. I’m the slowest in my class.
I’m not, mom. I’m just not.”

And she knew, she’d always known, the day would come
When all the loving lies that parents tell
About how children can do anything, be anyone,
Would meet reality, that big, blank wall
That tells their child,
“You can go no further.”

And even though he has many, other talents,
She knows how soon he’ll forget this day, and this feeling,

Which is

 
Never

in eight plus lines

o let that one day not go past
that she should once more sorrowed be;
o please, if i could take that weight,
provide to her self-clemency —

i would. the heart that knows no law
believes: it reaches out in pain
to touch in healing whom it loves,
and tries to soothe in all times and

in vain

I Am An Addict’s Father

There is no feeling so lonely
As being the only one left
Who believes

But I have to believe
That you can come back
That there still is a “you”
To come back

Actions become indolence
Words become lies
Lies become the story
And as to the rest
God only knows what will come

I am tired beyond words
And sick
At heart

There is no feeling so lonely
As being the only one left

Who believes

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?


8-22-2015

Wayward

“I’m sorry,” – I heard that,
But then the rest was hard to hear –
“I should have told you months ago,” –
And my mind raced with fear

“Bye,” her sad voice said,
And then the voicemail ended there
To leave me hanging on
And questioning exactly where

My stepdaughter was now,
And what had happened, knowing she
Had once again resurfaced
From her life of misery

Her drug addiction demons
Having driven her away
And us not knowing where she was
From day to fear-filled day

And now this message. Broken-hearted,
Aching for my girl
Who, cast away, unhappy
Languished somewhere in the world

When softly, gently I heard knocking
On my study door
And opened it to find her there,
Much as she was before

As she threw arms around me,
And as many tears were shed

“I’m home now, daddy,”

“Welcome back.”

Like my heart –

From
The
Dead


 

(“Wayward” – 11-9-2014)