Tuesday, June 19, 2018

These Words


Let these words wash over your dirty hands
    Cleansing the world from your life lines

Let these words flood your covered ears
    Drowning out the pollution from your prayers

Let these words blind your watery eyes
    Dilating your vision to a single meaning

These words are more than my breath crossing through vocal cords
    They are bread crumbs for you to follow
        as you walk past the witch's home
            chimney billowing smoke
            door open so you can hear her mumbling about
            how she will get you someday

But not today
Not at this moment
These words were once mine
they are yours now
Meant for you to consume
To savor
To break off a piece
and share with someone who is hungry, too
   
        Just remember that I wrote them for your happiness...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I'll be the one


I’ll be the one you can dance with
    when the melody is the storm

I’ll be the one you can laugh with
    when the punchline is another hardship

I’ll be the one you can lock hands with
    when the distance is unspoken words

I’ll be the one you can walk with
    when the compass has lost true north

I’ll  be the one you can dream with
    when sand has filled the bottom of life

I’ll be the one who sings
I’ll be the one who dances
I’ll be the one who loves
    You
        when all the world has turned away

I’ll be the one
    that completes this two...

Friday, June 1, 2018

If you want to see forever


If you want to see forever
use the rest stop at mile marker 167
    On Interstate 90 in South Dakota
   Next to the town, Belvidere, population 49
    Watch the clouds fill the sky
        like a bag of cotton balls
    The grassy plain cuts the horizon miles away
You can see the thunderstorm in the east
    A curtain of rain
        that you will encounter only after traveling for hours

If you want to see forever
 sit with a child in front of a Christmas tree
    On Dec 23, with presents before you
    They already know which ones have their name
    Know the sound of what’s inside
        hoping it matches their dreams
    The stockings still empty on the banister
You can see the anticipation heavy in their eyes
    Smile already building
        that you secretly know will be beaming Christmas Eve

If you want to see forever
 watch a young couple in a restaurant
On their third date
Their gaze never far from each other
Laughter as they share food from the plates
    extending their forks across the table
    Bites playfully as their eyes lock
You can see how lost they are
    In their moment
        unaware of the bustle of everyday life around them

If you want to see forever
 stop to speak to the gentleman
    On the porch of a run-down home
    The years worn into his hands
    Life drying out his throat
        making his memories hard to share
    So they pile up behind his lungs, raspy and slow
You can see the effects of life on his shoulders
    Once square, now curved,
        waiting only for the day of rest

If you want to see forever
  breathe in at this moment
    On the next exhale
    Feel how your heart beats
    To the rhythm of your life
        created by choices and fate
    A paradoxical rule that no one knows
You can see time move through your relationships
    Loved ones and enemies
        all saying your name

If you want to see forever
   
open your heart

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

To the teen sitting on the step



I am approaching a four way intersection
on a summer weekday
Stop signs making traffic hitch and pause
As people wonder what the rule is for who goes first
You are sitting on the step of the house
at the corner
Dressed in all black
black shoes
black socks
black shorts
black shirt
dark hair
Your arms are wrapped around your knees
Chin hiding behind your forearms
Your head moves slightly with each car passing
I turn my gaze back to the traffic
I wonder what is going on
Did you not take the garbage out when asked?
Is he drinking already (it’s two in the afternoon)?
Did she end it with a text message?
Or were you told, again, how worthless you are?
I am now in the stop sign queue
four cars to go
Debating if I should turn to look at you
Now that I am almost parallel to you
I recognize the body language
closed
feet tapping
caged
yet afraid to run
I chance it
our eyes meet
I can see the red highlights around your eyes
Feel the hate expressed through the
    “What are you looking at?” expression
We break our glance at the same time
I feel guilty that I can’t change anything
    because I’ve sat there on my own step
I push the gas pedal down
crossing the intersection
Glancing into my review mirror
I see you are still sitting
Slowly becoming smaller as I  head to school
to be certified
By the Red Cross
to save a life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nothing Lasts Forever


So they say that nothing lasts forever
But I’ve discovered that they are wrong
Our Pasts
Our Yesterdays
Will always be
    Every moment you had
    Piling up like stones
    The weight breaks your collar bones
    Cracks in your heart from every lie you told

The past is forever
    Photos
        And social media posts
    Memories
        And letters in shoe boxes
All have ramifications for the present
The past filters our vision better than Instagram
 It dictates what future we can walk
    It predicts our scraped knees
        And ruined relationships

Because they say nothing lasts forever
But they are wrong
 The past is resistant
even to the end of the world

For my future is not guaranteed
    I don’t even know when my last breath will be
But the words I’ve spoken are now a part of our history...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

And we are running red lights



And we are running red lights

Rushing through morning traffic
    unaware of the cars
        waiting to turn

Rushing on speed control
    so that we can spend our time
        on a screen posting filtered memories
            that we only recall when notified

We are running red lights

From jobs to frozen microwave dinners
    and children that say everything was fine at school today
        while never looking up from a screen that alerts them
            three years ago you shared a picture of the two of you
            standing by a lake
                tiny fish in both your hands
                eyes bright

But we continue to run red lights
    too busy rushing to lives that only glow
        when we touch a screen