This is worth it…

Everything doesn’t need to be worth doing,

like my mother’s love for me, doing some things

creates worth where there’s little.


There are no morals…

The marks have no moral,

they know no stories,

nor me or mine,

no memories surfacing

in the quiet of the day’s ebb

haunting and mocking what can’t

be changed by dreams,

they are carried along

as the wave of the page turns slowly

to the next leaving anyone

reading to wonder who writes this way,

not how but why;

and the way the words go

becomes a prophecy because it is a path

leading to another nowhere

ready to mean something, to be noticed

and maybe even remembered

enough to justify

a child’s plea to read it again,

again, again, and again.

A son’s new suit…

“She will most certainly not be missed!”

the doddering cleric awkwardly misspoke

meaning “certainly will” and “it won’t be the same”

but said the opposite of both and made a joke.


A daughter cried through the eulogy

recounting with the inadequacies of word

how her Mom lived and loved and mostly well

now glorified and comfortable; she was assured.


A grand life this quiet woman lived

unnoticed, unaccomplished, unheralded life

but praised and missed and truly mourned now

the almost perfect mother and almost perfect wife.


She tried to make her kids better

to get them to stand up straight and finish school

she never stopped trying even though she failed

polite talk concealing whether she was just a fool.


And a son sat weeping in the pew ahead

comforted by a child who hugged and was cute

this mourner grubby, unkempt but formally dressed,

the label on a jacket sleeve showed it was a new suit.

Do you know…

Do you know that moment when no matter how hard you try

there’s no way to keep away the scary things of quiet hours

when all’s too still so your head fills itself with every random fear

of things lost and unfound, loved but to far away, dear but unnear

and no mastery of mind can turn off the flood or slow it,

no pill can quiet the amygdala of my lizard brain

and no distraction makes it so… that’s one of the few,

certain and unchanging things I know about falling asleep

or not.

Forgive me but I’m not sorry…

If only, if, “If I knew then

what I know now” I know I’m not

smart (or good) enough to do

anything differently; I know that I

don’t know how to know

differently, I know that even

with 20/20, clear as day,

sharply focused and contrasted

lines diagraming right and wrong,

touch and don’t touch, walk

and don’t walk, buy and sell,

I would still act stupidly

and need forgiveness

instead of permission;

because it’s only later and

not at the time that I know

what I should have known,

and I’m fine with that because

I’m enjoying forgiveness.

Wednesday mornings…

It’s Wednesday morning and they’re here

sitting together like they’ve known each other

since childhood – unable to impress one another,

unable to care less, unable to enjoy like they once did

so they find peace in routines, every Tuesday,

same table and chairs – even sitting in the same

seats (like the man in the blue baseball cap facing

the glare of the sun, squinting his wrinkles

into even more, but refusing to shift his chair

and the others refuse to ask him again), and

the coffee sits until cool enough and the cream

forms a film and each cup has a stirrer but

no one seems to stir), and they always clean up

after themselves… always.

I love you…

For every pining lover aping the phrase,

every boy groping toward manhood,

every star-struck teen in an idol haze,

the reliable slogan will serve the good.


For any in search of a hearty reply,

an ‘and you too’ or polite salutation,

even a lonely cry which beckons nigh,

three words will draw the ovation.


Once a vulnerable, humble locution,

she’s pirated and plundered for spoil,

this once hearty exclaim suffers dilution,

at the hands of manipulative toil.


Once right, though often gainsaid,

not nor never perfect or immune,

this malleable slogan careens ahead

toward affections awaiting its croon.