Frank has a story…

Everybody Needs a Story

Frank said that the young boy
that he used as a guide was too easily distracted
and got bored quickly, leaving the sightless Frank
all alone, stranded in shops or sitting in the park,
and that bothered him;
but he was a tough guy, it seems, with a story, and
as any grandfather would say, interesting people
always have a story and that explains so much;

Frank lost an eye in an accident when
he was just a child, and then he lost the use of the other
in a boxing match as a teenager,
and I can’t imagine what he was doing
in a boxing match with one eye, but he could, and did,
and that’s Frank, I guess;

he heard that somewhere in Europe
dogs were being trained as guides for WW I veterans
blinded by mustard gas, so
Frank sent word that he’d really love
one of those dogs, and they sent him Buddy
who was the first one of its kind in this country,
all because Frank knew to ask, and
Buddy became so famous that when he died
newspapers ran an obituary for him
because even Frank’s Buddy had a good story,
and I decided I’d better get working on mine.

When Lincoln wasn’t famous…

Lincoln as a Boy

They say that for a famous man
it is unusual to know so little about his youth,
what it was like in Hodgenville,
when did he grow so tall and gangly
and did other children mock him and
why he was so fond of the axe,
and what of the rusticness of his birth
in a log cabin, or the sadness of his heart
when his mother died when he
was just nine years old,
and what he learned in just one year
of schooling that made him think
he could just show up one day
in New Salem and make it his land;
I tell my children they aren’t this lucky
because we wrote down everything
they did and said and photographed
their first and every step after that
with such duty that they can’t
escape their past
so they shouldn’t even try.

Beetle me this…

BeetleBeetle, Beetle

Alone, still and solitary
this beetle clinging effortlessly
to the brick of my garage
on a hot summer’s night;
you don’t move, even
when I wave a finger close,
no response, nothing.

Where do you find others,
a mate, a friend even
(maybe beetles don’t
need friends, but that
would be too sad), where
are the others beetle?

Jet black back, sleek
and looking fast but
for naught; you haven’t
budged a bit as I revisit
you hours later for no
reason but to see if
you’re still there beetle.