you put it there yourself to percolate blunt truth into acceptable story it seems rash to live without it—until you do and you look back wondering—why?
it’s leans to bittersweet turn toward your lot whether a cascade of griefs, ailing child, or lost possibility we’re given a fistful for our very own— we all have something
tear off the cloak that served as your shield it didn’t hide much you only thought it did live raw—turn your face to the pinging rain feel the chill roll down your cheeks let grief break you wide love all of it because this, this is what you have
she’s been with you for 27,990 energetic days— she’s slouchy about the edges bent here, broken there a taken-for-granted friend
you’re beholden to her— she’s overused, yet ferried you here—for decades she was treated like a beat-up truck rather than the marvel you now know her to be—oh! to go back seven decades and reframe how you dance together
but no second chances and no time for regrets go gentle, most of all in thought—and remember— she is your body consort
(this was my father’s birthday—he would be 108 today)
my father’s closet
I don’t know how to write about my father forty-four years gone he’s still a puzzle a large, lonely man who drank too much and hid it well
but I recall the bouquet of his walk-in closet musky and male suits and sport coats tidy, shoes polished till they reflected light and ties—so many ties myriad colors, wool and silk I liked to sit in there under the jackets and drink in his spice it all seemed so foreign
I wanted to know him but that was not possible his signature—arctic wiry hair, his pride amidst balding friends— he carried a briefcase bought plush cars with skin-soft seats but what were his thoughts? his cares? his dreams?
brush by delicate brush a painstaking excavator I uncover the skeleton of what he did—I was only four years old that’s faraway past yet it carved fault lines in who I might become cautious instead of creative
every touch leaves signs— elephants snap limbs monks arouse hearts with their clarity soldiers blast cities to rubble ants stumble while hefting a giant crumb—each singular action shifts the bones of our world
pick petals from the daisy it matters, it doesn’t matter it matters, it doesn’t both are holy true— meet the long ago metabolize and mend admire fault lines everywhere trace with care and gold
WWII marker at Britain’s Canterbury Cathedral in the ruins, granite chiseled “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” I stood desolate
we full well know the havoc we wreak on our beloved earth, our home the only parachute we have we want what we want more— our comforts—convinced the worst won’t unfurl, yet it’s here predicted fifty years ago when there was time to mend our savage ways I too am culpable—drive and cozy near the gas fire
faster, more dire than foreseen— cat-5 twisters, desperate flooding, devastating drought and oh, the fires! remember how plentiful skippers, painted ladies and tiger moths? no sustaining habitat to feed— too many of us
how do we create a requiem for the earth?
I cast my love and warmth— for the gnarled oak, a century old its weighty branches pulled toward ground—the woodpecker’s flash of red as it drills the bark the innocent babes born now on this weeping earth for my aging body, gravity calling me home
oh! sing a sacred song sing it with my whole heart
scientists discovered that trees respond. that one, there— does it feel the blaze suck air, ignite the roots, until it’s a pillar of raging light, over 1400 degrees? is this the tree that only casts seeds when burned? a phoenix of desolation?
all I have are questions.
what a transgression—a living organism, 2000 years old, is devoured by our careless inattention. our greed. where is our gumption, our brilliance, spent? what malformed gene stuffs our head in sand? we were warned. we did nothing of merit and here we are now.
girl, make a difference
comfort the young ones respond and rescue the four-leggeds, the winged things that we abandoned. like phoenix rising from ash, write, paint, engineer, love this mangled world with your whole being