The Narcissus in all of us…

The story goes that a very attractive Narcissus was tricked

by his own reflection – trapped in the mirror of a pool

and consumed with what he was all too happy to be

consumed by as if this was a punishment, a damnation

to the very thing defining him; not a lie, but a fulfillment,

a quickened conclusion – to be expected, but not

a cautionary tale because it’s exactly what we all hope for,

a punishment we all hope for and not a threat… like

wishing and winning what we have always wanted

and feared we’d never gain.

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Number forty-seven…

He’s built low to the ground, like a bulldozer meant to be heavy

and strong, number forty-seven plays almost every down

on both sides of the ball like the good-old-days and even when

you see him coming, there’s no beating him to the spot;

 

he’s not going pro… there is no ‘pro’ for players like him

but that’s not why he’s an elementary ed major,

it’s not a back-up plan, it’s what he says he was born to do

because he’s the kind of hero 7 year-olds need and want,

but today he’s carrying his team on his low-to-the-ground

back to another victory getting ready to tell stories one day

about his glory days…

Burger and fries…

If you offer me a hamburger, I might want it

but if you include fries the odds increase significantly,

so it seems I like things that compliment others,

like cheese on those fries as well as on the burger,

and if you add a pickle on the side it seems

so much more than pickles on my burger with cheese

for the same reason I prefer an apology with a kiss

to just the apology (but not just the kiss),

or a smile from a stranger and not just the stranger,

or found money in a coat pocket to a coat pocket.

Patience isn’t sexy…

Patience is for the impatient but useless advice,

like telling a friend in panic to just calm down,

it never works and sounds like you’re telling me

to prepare for belts cinching-up my tan chinos

and discount coffee at McDonald’s with old men

wearing baseball caps older than I am,

complaining about everything including

how much people complain and how youth

is wasted on the young and what we can’t eat

and comparing prescriptions,

adding that our wives are just happy that

we’re out (and out of their hair – as thinning

as it is) but she still loves you because

she’s the very definition of patient.

Betwixt and between…

Betwixt is a word of everything

already and not yet, suspended

in that lost moment of so much

that meaning can mean, it’s just

between the sixes and sevens of

Homer’s sea monsters, life’s rocks

and hard places, where safety

and danger are found together

holding hands as a brother

breathes his last, remembering

laughter with tears and fights

with joy, life folded in love

refusing Hobson’s horse, hating

the jab of Morton’s evil fork

and Procrustes’ knife trimming,

embraced in the chance of

billions of variables called God’s

will in order to sleep at night,

the moments of right and wrong,

love and indifference, life and

death which is always betwixt.

Becoming a stereotype…

Stereotypes work because we tend toward the mean

as uncomfortable it may be to our individuality

even snowflakes are not really unique

but tend toward patterns that you’ll never see

but have to trust – and that’s the hardest part,

because taking the time and effort to figure out

what’s so special about Dad jokes and tan chinos

is more than the abstract, generic banality

most of us try our entire lives to avoid.

It must not be worth remembering…

While it’s all a rush and hurry and bother and panic

Solomon returns – once again – to retrieve yet another forgotten item;

My glasses… I can’t see a thing without my glasses… it wouldn’t be

worth going it I couldn’t see anything at all, now would it!? he announced,

and we all waited more, and more, until he emerged, stopped in place,

patted his many pockets while running through a mental check list

of necessary accompaniments only to pronounce, Well, if I can’t

remember it now, it must not be worth remembering, and we all agreed

as I asked Solomon for the keys to lock-up his door… he smiled

and said, It’s always something, isn’t it? and returned inside.