“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 –



(“Wayward” – 11-9-2014)

This One Idea

Do good things come to those who wait?
Or do they waste their days
And months and years in wishing
For the slightest of displays

That what they hope for might come true?
It’s hard to make a rule —
That one could then encapsulate
To teach at home or school.

But this — this one idea I have
And you helped me to birth it —
I waited all my life for you
And wow
It sure
Was worth it

Inspired by this prompt.


(“This One Idea” – 11-16-2014)

No Talent For Certainty

My blog is named for a movie quote
From “Mansfield Park” —
It’s not in the book —

Some people know what looks best
With a certainty

But I don’t

Some people are sure what they’re doing
Is right

But I’m not

Some people can see the patterns in their past
Leading to some greater tomorrow
And that might be true for me
But I’m not sure

I have preferences
I make choices
I believe in, and hope for, tomorrow

But I have no talent
For certainty


(“No Talent For Certainty” – 2-9-2015)

Who’ll Tell?

Who’ll tell the story of my life?
Who’ll bring it to some harmony?
Weaving the senseless tangled threads
Into a pattern all can see?

Born in a place invisible
Like every boy, some mother’s prince:
Sent off the rails by adolescence
Hasn’t recovered since

Who’ll put in words what I can’t say?
Who’ll make it all seem relevant?
Find celebration in a party
That’s never had a celebrant?

Sick and alone with hopes in ashes
Bottle of pills to ease the pain;
Finding a path to wet redemption
Clambering through the rain

Horatio Alger’s rags to riches?
Will that, one day, be my history?
Or, a life written by Thomas Hardy?
I don’t know now
We’ll just wait
And see

Photo credit: © Inarik | Dreamstime.comChild Looking Through Fence Photo


(“Who’ll Tell?” – 3-23-2015)

To Change My Life…?

What seemed right and what felt right
Pulled in two quite different ways;
I drove into the desert ‘neath
The unforgiving rays

My heart, it wanted change, to get
A new life, a new start;
My mind said, “Everything is fine.
Don’t listen to your heart.”

For life’s responsibilities
Had greatly weighed me down;
The desert spoke of dying things
Of ghost lives, and ghost towns —

I drove for the entire day
And as the sun was setting
Decided I should stay the course
And that I’d been forgetting

What my life had been like before.
Once home, as I undressed,
I kissed my sleeping wife
And settled down to take some rest.

My instincts haven’t always
Been the greatest friend to me:
For if I listened, I’d have lost
All my reasons
To be


(“To Change My Life…?” – 12-16-2014)

Tertullian Would Have Loved It Here:

Just not the famous one.
The one who would have liked it
Would have tastes second to none.

He’d love the river and the mills,
The green and woody rolling hills;
He would like, I guess, the rain
Which is, these days, my morning pain.

And if Tertullian was mayor
I think he’d see, from over there
In Carthage, where he used to fare
That our roads are in disrepair.

Perhaps to fix them he’d would be
Wrapped up in obscure heresy
Of the old Montanist kind
But, oops, I think that I’ve been blind
Cause I forgot
That he was not
That Tertullian at all
Some other one I don’t recall

Since I don’t live in Carthage, I
Will end this post
And say goodbye