Monday, April 10, 2017

House to Home

There is a blue hand towel
on the floor below the right corner of the dishwasher
It leaks sometimes
I don't know why
The front door is scuffed with colors
    from the different door decorations
There are socks
in crumbled balls on the living room floor
Crumbs under the table
Toothpaste on the bathroom mirror
This is a house
        With a yard that has a few dandelions
           Nicks on the wall
And the roof has been replaced

But this is also a home
Filled with bubble baths
Family dinners
And groans when mom says it is time to clean the rooms
Pictures hang on the wall
capturing moments of joy
The DVD player has the girls’ favorite movie
The radio the boys’ favorite station
The pantry
filled with cereal and Pop-Tarts
three flavors of chips
and boxes of blueberry muffin mix
The hour is late
Time for bed
Stories and goodnights fill
the hallways
As this house rest from being a home

Friday, April 7, 2017

To the Teenage Boy Walking to School

It's been four years
since I've been in the classroom
but I still recognize the gait
    backpack slung low on the shoulders
earbuds in
    eyes on the sidewalk
head down, just a little
not gazing up at all
as if afraid to look the sun in the eye

I could tell from the look
I wonder what happens every day
    Do they taunt you
Is there someone who hates you
for no reason
Tearing up your homework between the bells
or breaking your pencils
    leaving you to take notes with a stub
or worse
    asking the teacher for a pencil
    bracing yourself for them to roll their eyes
    asking you why you never have a pencil

I speed by
    Life moves fast in the morning
    In my rearview mirror
    I watch you slowly shuffle along the sidewalk
    The school only two blocks away

    I say a small prayer
    that maybe today will be a good day
    for you

Friday, March 31, 2017


heart with chains and lock

Everyone says that forgiveness is for
    the betterment of your heart
That forgiveness releases you to be free

I can understand that

But see, no one tells you how to find the key
    or gives you the combination to the lock

if by fate
    you find how to unfasten the lock

They don’t tell you how to untangle your heart from the chains
    that you have spent years wrapping tightly around it
    Chains of time
    Chains of regrets
    Chains of promises unkept
    Chains of memories that just won't go away
The chains have become protection
You have used them to stop the bleeding
    Wrapped them in all directions
        trying to keep the blood from filling your chest
    But it still drips through the links
        At night you can hear each drop echo in your mind
Madness is found in the repeated noises of life

Other times the blood comes in a rush
Spilling down the stained chains
Life has a way of jolting us
    even on the most sunny days
So, you add another chain,
    tightening it
    wrenching it in place
        until the pain is just a dull thumping
            just behind the beat of the drips
    Chains are not made to heal wounds

See, even if you get to the point of figuring out the knot of the past
    till you can see your heart
    How do you heal the wounds
        the nicks and cuts
        let alone the gashes left unattended?

    How do you removed the indentations of the chains
        that crisscross your story?

    How do you find the faith to let your heart be unprotected?

I don’t know if I am that strong...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Walk Away

I see that you are ready
 Backpack on
 Water-bottle filled
 Compass clipped to your belt loop

That look in your eyes
    That believes the world is yours to conquer
No fear
No regrets
Only anticipating the glory of the climb

You are ready to walk away

But here is a map
You don’t think you need it, I know
 The path is clearly marked
    Signs posted
        Lookout areas clear
            Some even have benches so you can rest
But the path is always changing
And I have circled areas that are worth leaving the path for

I know you want to do this alone
That you are ready to walk away

I know
I’ve done this climb
I’ve got the scars to prove it

Even though the path is only wide enough for one
You don’t have to climb alone
I’ll conquer this mountain again
  To be there to help as the gravel moves under your foot
    Your hands bracing your fall
    Feeling the pain as the pebbles dig into your palms
    Maybe even drawing blood
I will be there to make sure you don’t slip down the path
    Having to cover the steps again
        Because sometimes the tricky spots
        Keep making us stumble 
Simply because we are alone

The view from the top is beautiful
But somehow more magical when you share it
Be it with one or twenty people

I know you want to walk away
    That your youth craves the adventure
    That I would slow you down
        For my legs are tired from all the treks I’ve traveled
    But there are lookouts
        Where I can rest while you adventure off the path
        Finding your own adventures

But always together
    We can climb
    And share the view
        And the pride of conquering this mountain

Because there will come a time when my legs won’t carry me
When you will even need to rest
    On a bench to watch your own son
        Walk away...