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Poems when Childhood is Not an Excuse

Stairwell (1989)
The Strongest Thread (1989)
Dogwood Blossoms (1990)
Two Paths (1993)
Jenny (1974)
The Battle Mighty (2000)
Prodigal's Return (2001)
Family Funeral (2003)

Stairwell (1989)     back to top ^

I saw her
Sitting on a curb
Smoking a morning cigarette
In the mostly empty third floor
Of the public parking garage.

I'd be back
And I knew
That she would be there still,
Waiting to confront my person
And alarm my sensibilities.

Stairs bright
In morning light
Formed an echo chamber
That magnified her loud request
Of "Ma'am, do you have fifty cents?"

Shocked response
A "no" as loud as her request
Came out of me and echoed to
The warm bright of the stairwell.

I stood still
And looked up
As she came down the stairs
Walking with an air of pride,
Large, barefoot, graying woman.

The filth
The smell
Her unbelievable condition
Stayed with me as I returned
To my safe warm home.

Gift of Christ
Where did that "no" ripped from my gut
Come from? Where am I now
That I denied her need?

The Strongest Thread (1989)     back to top ^

When I remember why I chose
A life of second place,
Instead of singing my own song
Just for me,
It all seems worth it.

It was enough when I was young
That I was capable
Of being anything I wished,
To satisfy
The needs of ego.

Now the choices have woven me,
As time has passed,
Into a web of my own weaving.
Duty is
The strongest thread of all.

Dogwood Blossoms (1990)     back to top ^

Dogwood blossoms,
Snow flowers of the warm night,
A gathering of light
In the darkness, surround me.

Overwhelming colors
Of the day are hidden
Reds, pinks and greens
Fade to black as I watch.

Two Paths (1993)     back to top ^

Two paths together
Forming a new one
Making a new place
To love and to grow

All that we've brought here
Is ours for the future
Joining our spirits
As onward we go.

So take my hand
And have my heart
Our path is one now
It's time to start.

Two lives together
Forming a new one
Growing and sharing
And more love to know.

Jenny (1974)     back to top ^

I came to know a young girl
Pink cheeked like morning sunshine
Her eyes would take in everything
The world put forth to see.
Before a summers passing
She knew the world around us
And I could see, before long,
She'd be rambling away from me.

And she's growing in the sunshine
Laughing and playing in my love
And I know that in the sunshine,
Someday, I'll have to watch her go
Away from me.

The Battle Mighty (2000)     back to top ^

Human eye and canine nose
While on their daily trek
Of ground familiar,
Note the cloaking magic
Of Nature's crystals white.

The snow makes clear
To eye, the myriad footprints
The nose sees without aid.

But here, a sight for both,
Ramparts and fortifications
Shards of weapons spent
Each carrying their hurler's scent
A battle mighty taken place.

The walls, strategy and execution
Will soon melt from our sight,
Leaving archeology no stone to turn.

Prodigal's Return     back to top ^

Furthest reach of land connected
Scarred by winds of north atlantic
Life clings to you, tightly grips,
While resting in the ocean's bounty.

In this land of rock and tree
Was there ever place for me?
Would you take back one who roamed,
But never found another home?

Family Funeral     back to top ^

Caution - The moving walkway is coming to an end.
Some journeys are taken alone,
The ones coming in and going out,
Caught by hands on entrance
And caught by Light on exit, we hope.

Caution - The living walkway is coming to an end.
There are journeys in the between as unique.
Inheritance from outliers, family pioneers
Who left, taking only their DNA
To build their life some place new and far.

Caution - The moving walkway is coming to and end.
On sentimental journeys of return,
Their kids in hand, the pioneers create
A memory stream known only to the ones
Who waded briefly there, then parted.

Caution - The living walkway is coming to an end.
Ah, outliers, your children's children
Cannot know this stream
The child grown old goes back
To meet its fellow waders.

Caution - The moving walkway is coming to an end
How many years have passed?
Our Aunts and Uncles shine clear in our faces,
While they in turn, look like the
Grandparents of our youth, and pass.

Caution - The living walkway is coming to an end.
From toe to foot to ankle,
The waders stand together in the stream
To let the memories wash us one more time,
And when we are gone, they are gone.

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