It’s Never Too Late (Written September 10, 2014)

It’s Never Too Late

 

She looks at the titles of the books I’ve brought,

And nods her approval. It’s never too late, she says,

To learn something new. I’ve never thought

 

Of myself as anything more than an average

Human being. As my body continues to fail me,

One organ at a time, I’ve sought compensation

 

In things of the mind, but when the mind begins

To fail me, what then? I find ways to disguise

My despair. I might pick up a book and pretend

 

To read. I might sit in the chair, with my eyes

Closed, and pretend to sleep. When it’s time

For her to go, I might stare out the window

 

And pretend I don’t care. I try to prevent

My gaze from falling to the swell of her breasts,

As she leans in to wish me good night.

The Great Divide (Written September 9, 2014)

The Great Divide

 

I seemed to have crossed some absolute divide.

Though I am still alive, or think I am,

I’m no longer part of the world I used to know.

 

Where before I was visible, now I am invisible.

No one comes to me and asks me what I think

About the important topics of the day.

 

It’s assumed that whatever I might have to say

Will be stale, out of date, and detached from reality.

I’m no longer part of the conversation.

 

I’m an ornament, no longer an active player

In the game of life. I sit in my chair and smile

As people approach and scowl as they go.

 

Even if someone did speak to me, it would be

A waste of their time, because I’m deaf in both  ears.

I keep a pad of paper with me in case someone

 

Wants to write me a note, but no one ever does.

And I smell of shit, but don’t tell anybody.

They’d get all in a snit, you know.

Give Me a Moment (Written September 8, 2014)

Give Me a Moment

 

Be quiet, my friend,

Give me a moment,

Listen to my words.

 

I’m not just talking

To myself or to a few

People I happen to know.

 

I’m talking to you,

Wherever you are,

Whoever you are.

 

Nothing I say,

Nothing I think,

Nothing I write

 

Means very much

Unless you listen

To the words

 

And feel the way

They flow from me

To you, freely.

Domestic Dispute (Written September 7, 2014)

Domestic Dispute

 

It did no good to fight

But she fought. She was right,

She thought, and he was wrong.

 

He had lied to her,

And he’d lied all along.

What sort of fool

 

Did he think she was?

He said she was the jewel

Of his eye, but she no longer

 

Believed what he said.

She was alone, stronger

Than ever before. Fighting

 

Maybe did no good, jabbing

Back and forth, slighting

Each other, but a clean,

 

Sharp word, raised in anger,

When you say what you mean,

And there’s nothing to be said

 

In reply, was one way she knew

To knock some sense into his head.

He destroyed most of her clothes

 

And stole her jewelry. Once,

He deliberately stepped on her toes

And threatened her with blows,

 

Breaking the last link in her trust.

And then to add to her woes

He locked the front door,

 

And though she knew he was

Bluffing, he had scared her more

Than she’d ever been scared.

 

She told him to get out

And he did, and never dared

Come again within her sight.

Of Course I Understand (Written September 6, 2014)

Of Course I Understand

 

Understand? Of course I understand.

I’d do the same thing

If I were in your shoes.

 

I don’t blame you, I blame myself.

I’ve tried very hard to stop

But I can’t. It’s just something

 

I have to do. It doesn’t mean

I don’t love you. Not in the least.

You mean everything to me,

 

And the children. I’m very sorry

This is happening. Whatever I can do

To make it easier I’ll do. The main thing,

 

For now, is to protect the children.

They really don’t need to know,

I hope you can agree to that. Later,

 

When they’re older, I’ll explain.

I’ve let you down, terribly, I know.

I don’t know what else to say.

How Strange (Written September 5, 2014)

How Strange

 

What he doesn’t even know he wants

Is what drives him to do what he does.

The smallest crack in the door

 

Is an open invitation to slip inside.

In the stillness of the night he has a dream.

He would like to please someone fully,

 

Someone as close to him as air, as breath.

He remembers when he was a small child,

He heard an airplane fly overhead,

 

And he thought, how strange,

They don’t even know I’m here.

A wave of longing and sadness,

 

Like frothing milk, washes over him,

But when he finds himself alone in the room,

He is afraid. A yellowish light falls

 

Across the foot of the bed, where

Articles of clothing have been neatly

Placed. The material is smooth,

 

And feels different from anything

He has ever felt. His mind wants

Fabric, texture, and comfort.

Whatever You Like (Written September 4, 2014)

Whatever You Like

 

Stretch out there,

Under the tree,

Have a nice sleep,

 

Forget your worries,

Forget your cares,

I’ll stay with you,

 

I’ll make sure,

No one bothers you,

I’ll read you a poem,

 

If you want me to,

Or I’ll keep quiet,

I can do that too,

 

Whatever you like,

I’m here for you,

I know it was hard,

 

What you did,

I don’t envy you,

But it’s done,

 

It’s for the best,

Don’t think about it,

Let it go.

As Free as the Birds (Written September 3, 2014)

As Free as the Birds

 

With a great flapping of limbs she runs

Onto the beach, and the seagulls,

Believing she might be one of them,

 

Squeal with delight and fly with her

To the edge of the water, but when

She dives in and begins to swim away

 

They lose interest. The water is cold,

This late in the season, this far north,

But it’s just what she wants. She feels

 

As free as the birds, a great weight

Lifted from her shoulders. Why

Has she waited all these years,

 

To do what so obviously needed

To be done? It wasn’t fear,

It was the idea that she could fix

 

What was broken and make it

Good again. But now, with each stroke,

She swims further away from all that.

Reflections in a Window (Written September 2, 2014)

Reflections in a Window

 

She turns the chair to the window

Where she can look down on the street

And the restaurant across the street

 

And watch the people come and go,

Couples or larger groups that meet

On the sidewalk, talk awhile,

 

Then disappear inside. A haunting

Saxophone fills the air every time

Someone opens the door. Cars

 

Are parked tightly on both sides

Of the street, but as it gets dark,

She sees less of the world outside

 

The window and more of the world,

The furniture, the man, inside.

The inside gets reflected back at her,

 

Like a play that she’s suddenly part of,

Without wanting to be. The man

Watches her from behind,

 

While she stares at him in the window.

She’s told him she wants him to leave

But he won’t until he knows why.

 

He’s waiting for her to say something.

She owes him an explanation, he thinks.

She looks through him, to the street below.

I’ll Tell You This (Written September 1, 2014)

I’ll Tell You This

 

I don’t know what I hope to do,

What, if anything, I still can do,

In the little time I have left.

 

She always insisted I got

Exactly what I had coming.

The last time I saw her

 

It was the month of May,

And we barely spoke.

When she left, I rode

 

The elevator with her

Down to the street.

Before I opened the door,

 

I was alone. Every floor

Contains, in its acres,

Plumbing and facilities

 

For long-term residents.

Knowing too much etymology

Can be dangerous, especially

 

If you let it go to your head.

I don’t have enough words

To tell you what I’ve seen.

 

This is where I find myself,

Through no fault of my own.

The auditors have come and gone,

 

For now. I’ll tell you this,

Being alive is not everything

It’s cracked up to be.

 

For a minute or two

It pours down rain, then

Shuts down just as suddenly.