Time to Write

bird against cloud

I feel the ache in my bones

The need to get home

Seconds before

Becoming fully aware

Of what my world

Is telling me

Like the eerieness

Before the tornado siren

Sounds

Certain details shout to me

Not everything

Just some things

The lone bird in the sky

Too big, too black

Against the too muted

Too bright clouds

Its song amplified

Notice me, it trills

While cars

Move beneath it

Muffled, too quiet

Inexplicable

In comparison

With half an eye on the bird

Half an ear, too

I squash the urge

To go home, now

And enter the library

Spooked, knowing

Clutching a memoir

Just finished

Someone’s story

Another one imploring me

To write my own

I keep finding them

Or they find me

Reading them

As they read me

Recognizing that longing

To get it out

Preserve it

A wax man stares

As if expecting me

Already making eye contact

Before I’m even there

Holding it

Without moving

As I go by

And drop that memoir

That someone else’s story

Down the slot

He’s frozen

I know

Just so I will take in

All the details of him

That urge to write

Intensified

The library, ahead

In slow motion

As I move quickly through it

To the holds

To a book I look forward to

On the shelf, in my slot

Where I’m expecting it

But still a surprise

I take it

Bewildered

As to how it got there

Another memoir

Another somebody’s story

Another person

Calling to know mine

The beep of my library card

Too loud, to me

But no one else hears it

No one notices

Just the one who needs to write

About what

The world is proclaiming today

Making me ache

To commemorate

The details

Take note, it screams

Make note, it pleads

I feel it

It’s time to write my story

But I’ve picked up this book

This book on hold

Now in my hold

Another

Someone else’s story

And so I must decide

Write or read

Read or write

One makes me crave the other

The other has me coveting the first

A poem, I decide

Just for now

Satisfying, but fast and short

To the point

Its end in sight

So I can pick up that book

Get started

Knowing I’ll be moved

To write

My story

Perhaps

Next time.

Four Sons Plus a Sister

fatigues

Six-foot-four walks through the door

In fatigues, fatigued

Fists tight, jaw clenched

Tears in eyes

Looks down on three-foot-ten

Counts to ten

One son, one of four

Plus a sister

Looks up to his father

Tears in eyes

Sorry he swung at a teacher

This son, one of four

Plus a sister

Angry, on the edge

Because dad went to war

Mom lost it, lost the kids

Four sons

Plus a sister

Then needed to be fostered

Dad came home

PTSD in his bags

No wife, no mother

For four sons

Plus one sister

Two sons

Plus one sister

Back with dad

No job, little income

Parenting experience near none

Another son, a toddler

Back home now

One father, four kids

Trying, struggling

Dads Group, therapy

Coping strategies

Visitations with the mother

Until this mother

Becomes another

No show

One father, four kids

The littlest son

Is yet to come

Fatigued father

Breathes now

Uncurls fists

And scoops up

His son

This one son

And hugs him

To his fatigued chest.

A Morning at the Lake

Highline Lake

Just past sunrise

With my training partner

We swam in shimmery water and bouncy raindrops

Rode along freshly-showered farm roads laced in sunflowers and blooming rabbit brush

And trotted ourselves up and down the lakeside trail and across the dam

To the finish line

Week seven of training

Next Sunday’s the real deal.

Highline 1

Highline 2

Highline 3

Highline 4

 

Champagne

My father
A month in ICU
So far away
His wishes
He moved
To be left alone
Tonight
I talk with his caregiver
Make arrangements to visit
Then pop the champagne
It’s all that’s in the house.

champagne

Her Countenance Alone

 

It doesn’t matter who she is

Her name

Nor father that created this beautiful piece of art

What she’s saying

In all those seconds

Over all that time

Utterly inconsequential

What I study instead

Is her countenance alone

That face

Living, expressing, growing, changing

Yet persisting

And prevailing

As the baby girl

Expressing without words

No words to express

How she is every girl

Every baby grown up

Every stage

Each different

All the same

She is my daughter

My first daughter

My second

She is every girl

I’ve taught over the years

At some point talking

To me

Without me hearing

As

Her countenance alone

Captured me

Raptured me

Entitling me to see, just see

To appreciate

To love

Every stage

Of every girl

Each different

All the same.

Remember Y2K?

Remember Y2K?

Seems it was just a few months ago

That I was shopping

For extra toilet paper

That’s all I got

To prepare for the end of the world

Or, rather, the end of everything

Dependent on computers

Some thought the rollover

Wouldn’t happen

That we’d be forever stuck on 1999

Or thrown back to 01/01/1000

But time marched on

As it always does

And my babies are

No longer two and three

But rather 16 and 17

And I’ve got things

Besides extra toilet paper

On my mind

Remember Y2K?

Y2k

The Swing

Her little girl

In the swing

Curious, energetic, bright

She pushes her

Learn, move, create

Harder, faster, higher

And the girl smiles.

Her daughter

In the swing

Inquisitive, assiduous, gifted

She teaches her to pump

Push, produce, live,

Harder, faster, higher

And the girl does.

Her teenager

In the swing

Introspective, lackadaisical, artsy

She watches her change paths

Grow, change, become herself

Twisting, slowing, nearly stopping

And the girl cries.

This young woman

In the swing

Discovering who she is

She watches as she

Looks up, beholds the sky

And resolves to pump again.

swing

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