Cherries By The Lake

The heat was so oppressive, we
Could barely make it up the hill
That overlooked the distant lake.

A shack with cherries there for sale,
A tiny windmill in the yard,
And both of us, exhausted —

The woman said, “Come in. Cool off.”
The air felt like a swimming pool
And you and I ate cherries in our chairs.

This comes back now, I think, because
How often, these days, all we share
Is that we both are tired,

But that such sharing is a thing.
And even one remembered fond,
Might make today, well

Easier

… how close the far away

Across the room a wooden table
Yellow tea lights flicker
The night is gathering her dress
To go amid the stars

And we in silence find abundance
Through the skylight glowing
As shadows dance across the bed
And every sound is ours

For we are physical and mental
Full emotions churning
And yet are centered to our core
To lie among the still

And see the lights of years ago
By our few candles burning
To feel how close the far away
Can be when we just will

A Life She’s Never Had

She reads about a life she’s never had;
Of men, romantic, focused, fully there –
And yearns with an intensity quite sad,
For all she’s wanted, but could never share

The man she married: forceful and intense.
It’s had its moments, some bad and some good;
But she knows now, he’s never really cared
To understand her needs or wants – nor could.

They never watch a movie that she’d like,
They are with his friends, if with friends at all;
He comes home with desire, late at night,
She is a sort of wifely booty call

But in these books, that he thinks silliness,
She finds the searching look, the soft caress;
The women there are loved by men, and more:
They’re not just someone he comes home
To score

No Sunset

So, what is real? It’s not these memories:
The halt, spasmodic assays of my past
Are pictures now, hung up in galleries,
Some early chapters, neither best nor last.

For love is not a happening. It is
A work of many choices, many deeds;
It is the touch that bears us through our grief,
The careful stitches to the heart that bleeds.

And you — you are the realest whom I’ve known:
A gentleness someway both fierce and strong,
And as the years have gone — and some have flown —
Love stronger grows the more that it grows long.

    There is no sunset I would rather see
    Than any with you still here next to me

8 Portraits, #8

Her favorite pasttime.

Spare moments she can find, she’ll always read.
It’s how she says she’s been since she was small;
Some just for fun, and some her soul to feed,
We’ve large walls full of books – she’s read them all.

It is a thing about her I hold dear;
Not just her loving heart, but searching mind;
There is something appealing in the sheer
Energy she always seems to find

Exploring some new place or some new book.
I might walk in exhausted from my day,
So she’ll glance up to give a loving look,
And when I need, she’ll put the book away —

But I, who’ve loved to read since just a boy –
I hate to interrupt
That sort
Of joy

8 Portraits, #7

Another night’s conversation.

Candy crush?

No, Trivia Crack.

Who are you playing?

Denise’s sister.

I didn’t know Denise had a sister.

She does, and she’s not very good at this game.
I’ve beaten her like fifty times in a row.

Why does she keep playing you if she keeps losing?

She says she’ll outlast me, that she has more stamina.

Now, I KNOW that’s not possible. Do you want me to tell her?

You get away from my phone.

Doesn’t the name “Trivia Crack” sound like a warning?
I mean “Crack” isn’t exactly known for its salutary effects.

“Salutary”? I’m glad I’m not playing you at this game.

Don’t make fun of my nerdy vocabulary…

Don’t make fun of my trivia crack addiction…

8 Portraits, #6

Days and weeks of perpetual seduction.

We’d each been married before, and those disappointments fueled a mutual gratitude towards each other that made love stronger.

There were days and weeks of perpetual seduction, which I yielded to at every turn.

She lay stretched across the bed facing away from me as I came out of the shower. She said, “I have something for you.”

I asked her what that might be.

She said, “you’ve touched my spirit, and the body comes with it.”

I found little to complain about with that arrangement.