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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

It could have stayed simple.

Conversations about music and books.
Funny pictures and daily jokes.
The first and last person to talk to me each day.

I didn’t have to ask his best friend why they weren’t talking.
Didn’t have to find out about the other side of his face
I was never introduced to.

The shadow of ignorance is welcome
in times of disappointment.

Even the good man has secrets.
Jagged lines slice open lies
that sounded so real.

You don’t have to be dating
to be brokenhearted. 

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We’re all waiting for something.
Sit with a coffee at the airport and guess who will stand up when someone walks through the door.

We are all lazy in something.
Wait in the frozen food section and see who picks out the pizzas and frozen alfredo.

We all have something that makes us happy.
See the girl sitting on the top suitcase of an airport cart,
the joy on her face as her father pushes her. The Simplicity.

Live while you’re waiting, even in the small things,
otherwise you are simply waiting to die.

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I saw his white hair before anything else.
Maybe it was his trembling legs
as he took the steps one by one off the plane.
Though his suitcase small
he struggled to hold it as if it was stone.
Those behind him remained silent
but their tapping fingers along the rail
brought a frown to my eyes…
Yet I have been one of them.

His wife waited at the bottom
like a mother at the end of a slide.
He seemed to learn a little too far forward
and I bit my lip.
A few steps can feel like you’re falling down a mountain.
Broken bones could occur.

Maybe he does it to prove that dozens of lines on his face
does not define his strength.
Maybe he faces the stairs because he wanted to see his granddaughter
walk down the aisle.
Maybe retirement was the only time he had money
to see the world.

Or perhaps stubbornness simply multiplies with wrinkles. 

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My chocolate lab
howls at early risers, claws
grinding against bark.
I whistle from my tent
stepping alone
into a circle of tall pines,
brush thick, black.
Rain had become more
than rain. I swim through fog
heavy as steam, whistle again.
Silence deeper than a grave
buckles my knees.
The heart’s enemy
tugs tender stitching
till nearby twigs crack,
the familiar swish of a tail.

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It takes a little faith.
Doesn’t matter how many you plant,
you need to sustain it
put in the elbow dirt
and nurture it to get a blossom.
Over time rejections will come
mistakes will happen
but spray some Round Up and press on.
Rain will attempt to drown it
Sun will strive to bake it
but only after it’s tested can it bloom.

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Walking around Wal Mart
not planning to buy anything,
You pause at the mirrors,
a familiar face in the midst of aliens
while your friends continue to stagger forward,
drained and disoriented.
You live in the house whose dictionary
has no word for home
with frozen peace, dehydrated love,
and parents who seal care with worn tape.
You drunk minors woke,
surprised like injured bandits
as this morning’s pain wades in your pools
of Captain Morgan,
your stomach chanting stop, stop.
The mirror won’t ignore dwindling eyes
or vomit missed on the corner of your lips.
You stare at the reflection like a scrawny cat
waiting for scraps even dogs won’t eat.

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I’ve been living in this waiting room;
watching wheelchairs and white coats,
paging through old People magazines,
and mechanically munching vending machine Doritos.
Gnawed nails thrum the desk,
keeping time with the clock,
for sterile scents and elevator music
can’t ease the impatient.
Grandpa sleeps in a white room somewhere
hidden from our searching eyes.
Dad withdraws from a Vikings game
as Mom knits a third scarf.
I pace along someone else’s trail,
cutting open more useless worries
while downing the supply of Folgers,
permanent shadows etched under persistent eyes.
A pale face pauses at the door.
Lungs suffocate, drowning.
There has been a complication, he starts.
Knives slash into my swollen heart like an operation site.
How do you prepare for Goodbye?

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