Little Understood

We last ate here decades ago. It hasn’t changed.

When I was just a kid, this was
The height of elegance;
My parents took their three kids here
And dined

And now I’m back in this old place
By dint of random chance:
It’s faded, slightly, but it’s still
Refined

I little understood, back then,
Just what it must have meant;
My parents did not throw money
Around

We take what we are given
As a grant when we are young;
Just part of life, like food or air
Or ground

And parents never know, when they
Set out to give a gift,
Which of the many treasures they’ve
Amassed

Will mean the most to kids, who tend
To take it all in stride;
But now, I finally understand
At last

calendar, clock, and circumstance

they always ask us day and date
when testing us for senescence,
but one might argue timelessness
is more a sign of innocence

than any sort of defect in
our mindfulness or mental stance,
and really quite a lucky gift
that we’re bestowed by circumstance.

for everyday, the calendar
is one of life’s embattlements,
and clocks are most insistent things
that make us feel inadequate,

but some there are escape the trap
and live to laugh and sing and dance
not conscious of how time goes by,
with less of worry than of trance,

and if ‘twere possible, I would
give such a way of life a chance:
alas, though, I am chained to time
by habit and

by circumstance

Thrift Village

Pine cleaner and mildew in an endless battle always smelling,
Fluorescent lights glaring, steel shelves’ bright abundance of overstock;

Wide aisles of sometimes blockage, large displays,
Concerns of new managers and old vendors there daily stopping;

Living always in bargains for that which others
Have passed in affluence;

Thrift village then aging into infirmity, death overlooking —
Knowing only the cracks of light seeping through imprisoning boards

{ Big Box }

The places in our lives are part of us,
And I spent days with family in these aisles.
So much we buy just seems ridiculous,
The stuff we brought along for all these miles –

Her cousin was the manager a bit;
We’d see him upfront, sometimes, tall and straight —
They let him go before the worst had hit,
So he, his wife, and kids moved out of state.

And I remember toys – my son was small –
Including some my grandkids play with now;
I know that life just happens, that things change,
But some days it still gets to me, somehow.

    So many turns and orbits by our clocks,
    The once-alive that’s now an empty box

Haute Decor

The flawless decor of the rich
Can keep their sleeping kids in style;
But all of that won’t give kids warmth
Or make the moments worth the while

That they might spend with parents who
Spend all their lives on margin’s call:
While love is riches, strange to say
Mere riches are not love
At all