a scaring

the fall lay empty you
and i were sitting in
abandonment

but you were gone
you’d long been gone
i turned to look and you were gone
away

the autumn sank into,
beneath, the winds
of hollowness

but i was done
i’d long been done
so many happy things we’d never
done

a habit of ingratitude
that’s past the point of speech,
a scaring off of what grief is,
a knowledge beyond reach

october and a lonely wind,
a leaf blows by, and knows
that it is dead

i turn again to look for you,
for you will never leave
nor will this ache,

this dread

The Show Goes On

The show goes on; the dead have played their part.
But still we wait for one more cue, or line:
Those ne’er said words that we have known by heart,
And memorized, as though a valentine

That we will never feel in hand, or see.
The looked for, listened for, and waited on
That will not heed our cry, or hear our plea;
For love’s most fully owned when it is gone.

The show goes on; the dead have played their role,
But there’s no point in dialogue, or mark;
You live, although you’re missing half your soul,
A sunflower within the gray and dark —

    For none of it makes any kind of sense,
    The scene, the plot, the play, the

    Audience

The Ripping Out

The sound of only stillness birds

The grass that’s manicured and clipped

The emptiness that knows no words

The should-have-been’s that all get skipped

 

There is a knowledge only they

Who’ve felt the ripping out can say:

Though time stretch long, and legs go far,

Forever loves

Forever

Are

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

(.)

– this grief –

the lightest hand across your back,
or held within a deep embrace;
if i could join you in this grief,
i’d cross the coldest depths of any space

i know the light and dark are mixed,
our longest times are still so brief;
and though my love is poor, at best,
i’ll give you all i have to help this grief

the light and dark are mixed and we
must hide our eyes as at our birth;
but let me be a shield for you
if only for a moment on this earth —
if only for a moment on
this earth

Soft The Rain Falls

[On a woman who told me of her experience growing up as a foster child. – Owen]


Soft the rain falls
On a little girl’s dreams
As the windows streak with tears

For the mother and father she barely had:
The ghost of her Mama, the voice of her Dad —
Before she came here to be told, “don’t be sad”
In this impassive place

Still the rain beats
On the roof overhead
As her mind jumps past the years

To a festive wedding with her the bride;
Lovely, with her Daddy there by her side –
But she can’t make the face out – the love, the pride –
Nor see her Mama’s tears

Sad the wind blows
From the far mountain streams
To join with her in her plea

Soft the rain falls
On a little girl’s dreams
With nobody there
To see