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

(“Waiting Room” – 1-26-2015)

Real, Love

(While at the hospital almost seven 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?


I Tried To Dance


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)

To See My Mom

[This picture is actually my mom in 1955. This was written before she passed away in 2019. – Owen]

I do not know which is further
The seventeen hundred miles to see my mom
Or the sixty years since this photo was taken

Each needs the aid of human technology to be crossed:
Plane rides today, for my wife and me
Or this photo, snapped by my dad in Japan
And loaded by my brother-in-law onto the Internet

There, my mom, but twenty-four years old
Is sitting across the world, in Japan
Today, my mom is eighty-four years old
With Parkinson’s, heart troubles, macular degeneration
Recently moved into an Assisted Living facility

The stylish young woman of the photo
Now, having seen so many lives,
And dreamed so many dreams,
Still does —

This is my mom
Who I have always known
And who I do not know

As the farthest distances to travel
Are still those

Between two people

Trying to really


(“To See My Mom” – 3-3-2015)

But love was the best we had…

They tried to make things beautiful, 
Most years, they'd change a room -- 
They hung lights and placed furniture 
To stem the backyard gloom 

And we were rich, as some would reckon, 
Three kids, mom, and dad: 
We owned a house, we owned some things, 
But love was the best we had.

My father fought in Vietnam, 
My mom was raised in sorrow; 
We didn't owe a lot, my folks 
Were rather loth to borrow -- 

And things were calm, as some would see it, 
Yet we had seen loss: 
And though they made things beautiful, 
They felt it worth the cost 

To sit outside and watch the lights, 
Together, with the birds, 
And tell us that they loved us, though 
That wasn't said 

In words