Red Ribbon

Red Ribbon

my fondest memory
as a child, i won
the second place prize

in the county science fair
for my potato project—
that red ribbon,

my proudest possession,
hung over my head
and framed my face

with delight—
who would have known
the meaning of that prize,

the feeling of being
second best at something
i didn’t even like

_

Disease

Disease

i live with a disease
it’s small and discrete
and hides in dark corners
with furtive glances
through narrow windows

(if you ask me,
i’d say i’m doing fine)

it’s not cancer
i won’t lose my hair
and people won’t come
to the hospital
to leave me candy or flowers

no one will wish me well
or tell me everything
is going to be all right—
who would even know
what to say anyway?

it’s not like i’m dying

i don’t need a wheelchair
i can run just fine
and most races i finish
in first or fifth
or some odd number

i have a disease
with a poker face
that never gives out hints
or divulges secrets freely,
it is quiet

it eats days, weeks, even months
of sunshine; it strips trees bare

_

B#4

B#4

train stop, stretch, and re-gear
the task of forward unclear

the five o’clock news reported
zero casualties, but failed
to mention the damage done
by the sixty ton wreckage

the young boy watching, too
naïve to understand the impact,
vowed “never again” and hid —
refused to dance in the rain

what was the point if
the link between him and earth
was falling?

_

Snow

Snow

It lay in drifted flurries on the barren path,
Covering the stones in silence –
Quieting them.

There’s something special about these monoliths –
Half-eroded, worn-out, and tired-looking…
Like they too have seen too many winters.

You’d have thought the patterned ivy
Would have textured them with twisted shapes by now,
Intertwining the gravity of repose
With the tranquility of respite.

Were their lives faithful to their testaments –
The dead still stones representing life?
Did they truly do them justice?

It settled quietly,
Covering the stones in history,
Clouding the bones in mystery.

_

Unbroken Light

Unbroken Light

Unbroken light floods
Into endless harmony
Scattering to infinite suns
Of solar orbit flight
And while we’ll never know
If uncertainty is natural
We always knew acceptance
Was simply a way of life

_

B#3

B#3

(in the momentary silence) i turned to you
like a lost vessel on a sandy shore
i said some words i didn’t know
(and left things as they were before)

_

Sleepless Nights

Sleepless Nights

there are nights
i walk – uncertain –
on bare hardwood

floors, making those
unsteady prints
of empathy,

regret, longing.
i push up dust
on times long

lost in old books
and cracked tomes,
at times a sigh,

at times a
whisper
in the quiet.

i recall suns
rising and falling.
i have walked —

bewildered,
in sad rain
on countless nights,

in silence,
in a void —
wondering.

_

Amaranthine

Amaranthine

To my Dearest Forever:
To whom all requests are made in vain
With whom many eyes have turned about
In the sockets of their bones
And to whom constant prayers meant nothing –
Neither did the sky
To whom selectivity was a way of life
And to whom silent pleading went unnoticed
In whom – You – hearts stored faith and desire
Vaulted within you their secret thoughts
For You – every supplication was made in vain
Every single prayer and wish for happiness
Simply piled words on top of Liesel Mueller’s words
Which were becoming breathless
But to You – All regrets return still
As every moment wasted comes back –
In ocean waves and pillow clouds
Back and forth’s and maybe not’s
With broken chords and silence and stillness

_

9/11

9/11

Brick and wood and metal and mortar
Stretching up to the heavens and further
Filing up the expanse of the sky
Gargantuan monster, impressive sight

Broken and beaten pavement and stone
Set aside from the plaster of roan
Shaking the ground in a fearsome quake
Eyes wide shut, suddenly awake

Tumbling, tumbling, rumbling, fall
Breaks on the ocean, awakens us all
Setting alarms to blaring and ringing
Topple the price, undoing the kinging

Under the roods of a landscape that dies
There lies some hope, in heaving and sighs
And down in the ground the rubble is seeping
Digging a hole for those who are sleeping

_