Her Name Was Paige

He was a superhero then,
At nine years old (in his own mind)
And she sat in the front of class
And stood by him in lunchroom line,

He’d see her on her bike sometimes
In Spring, a pink and purple blur;
Her name was Paige, and when he thought
At all of girls, he thought of her.

She was the smartest kid in class,
And ran as fast as anyone;
And sometimes down at Ander’s Field
They’d play until the setting sun.

A dozen kids, or more, there’d be,
And games they’d play for sport, or whim;
Her name was Paige, and when she thought
At all of boys, it wasn’t him.

This tale has no great denouement:
He crushed on her, she didn’t know.
At nine years old, you feel some things,
Then ride your bike and let it go.

That pink and purple bike, some nights,
Will pop into his dreams -— it does —-
Her name was Paige, and he liked her.
And that is all that story
Was

an invasion, of sorts

If you look at a map of Normandy,
You will see roads and channels – no valise.
It was a strange discomfiture to know;
Scant help would be forthcoming, few police,
Just one lone woman, who was sweet and kind.
    But she could never carry
    All that I had on my mind.

Pretend you stood beside a roadside inn,
And watched the passers-by. How is there space
And time enough to count the atrophied,
Or see the covert stories in each face?
A map, a woman, searching through my dread —-
    Without a clue to comfort, save
    That one lone white

    Bedspread

Generations

“No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.”

Part 1

Cruel laughter rings
Around a five-year-old boy

Look at the little baby!
He carries a teddy bear!

And tears appear in the eyes
Of the young, confused boy

And the toy bear

Part 2

She was a lithesome seventeeen
Wanting to leave girlhood behind;
He was so handsome, quiet, forceful
He filled her soul, her heart, her mind

Giving herself to adult pleasure
Finding too late the price of lust;
Violence breaking out in ruin
Having a baby, broken trust

Young single mom setting up a nursery
Worn teddy bear for the baby’s bed;
The only gift that his father left him
So many things must stay
Unsaid

Part 3

His mother died when he was only six
He had no father that he’d ever known
He set off with his grandmother to live
Some other place, with everything unknown

His only friend, a tattered sewn-up toy
The house smelled funny, all his tears were spent;
He hugged his only friend up to face
Just trying to recall
His mother’s scent

(..)

Filling Station

Once
A woman and her husband
Stopped at this place

She, eight months with child
He, thinking about walking out
And the drive had been a tense one
Old wounds reopened
Fresh hurts on display

And an old couple was there
At the same time
Laughing while they pumped gas
They asked her when the baby was due

She said, “One month.”

The old man asked her husband
“Are you excited?”
“Nervous,” was the reply

“Don’t be. Just remember:
Loving someone
Who loves you back
Is the greatest thing in the world.
And your child
Will love you back.”

Forty-eight years later
The woman is no longer young
She stands at this abandoned place
Her young granddaughter in tow.
“What is this place?” the little girl asks

This place?
This is where your grandaddy and I

Decided to stay in love


 

(“Filling Station” – 8-15-2014)

The Day of Her Departure

She heard the wind across the way;
Her chest grew tight, the sky turned gray,
And all she knew just fell away,
The day of her departure

She wanted more, she needed more;
She didn’t know what was in store
But wanted time – a leisure tour –
A world both ripe and larger

It wasn’t that she didn’t care
For those behind; it was that there
Were dreams that she had yet to dare –
To dance, to be a marcher —

Then one last time, the weather vane,
Perhaps a flash – a hint – of pain,
For she would not be back again:
The day of her
Departure