Perfectly Timed (Written September 15, 2014)

Perfectly Timed


I think he’s pleased,

The way he smiles at me

And keeps looking at me


With the wide, innocent

Eyes of a child, as if

There is so much more


He wants to tell me

But doesn’t know where to begin.

He knows he won’t be able


To find the words,

So he doesn’t even try.

I’ve kept the photo


All the years of our estrangement

To remind me of the good times

We once had, before things turned


Sour, and he left. It’s tangible proof

That I never stopped thinking of him,

Though we never spoke.


In the photo we’re standing on a beach,

His arm around my shoulder.

He’s very happy


And I’ve got my usual frown.

But this is the day, just before

Or just after the photo was snapped,


That we saw a fish hawk

Dive straight down out of the sky

And snare a trout.


It was so perfectly timed,

That dive, so quick, so efficient,

We never forgot.

His Heart’s Desire (Written September 14, 2014)

His Heart’s Desire


The glorious weather of late summer

Continued as if nothing had changed.

He felt alien, completely different,


Distant. Only very late at night,

When all motion had stopped,

Or was frozen, did he find rest.


The ache that had kept him awake

And put his resolve to the test,

Lifted a little, like early morning


Fog over a river, when the sun warms

The air. Something in him was fighting

For its life, but so silently, so distantly,


He felt he had nothing to do with it.

Barely a whisper, it fluttered somewhere

Near the back of his brain. What his body


Wanted was one thing, what he wanted

Was another. Like a leaf falling from a tree,

He felt detached from the mass of humanity.

I Haven’t Been the Same (Written September 13, 2014)

I Haven’t Been the Same


We have to go slow, I hope you don’t mind.

I haven’t been the same

Since the day of the accident.


The leg was pretty badly mangled.

I’m lucky to have it, they say.

I bit off the tip of the tongue,


And can’t help thinking it’s still there.

The worst thing is the lungs,

Which keep filling with fluid.


It feels like I’m drowning.

I spend most of my time in bed,

Or in a wheelchair.


Physio twice a week, which I hate.

All those repetitions!

So this is great.


Thank you for taking the trouble.

I’ll be back on my feet

In a couple of weeks.

The One for Me (Written September 12, 2014)

The One for Me


I stood by the roadside,

Waiting for someone

To give me a ride.


The cars roared by,

A little too close

For comfort.


It was late in the day,

And I was lost

In the glare of the sun.


I was leaving home,

Because nobody knew

Who I was anymore.


I hardly knew myself.

Every week or so

Someone would die,


And someone new

Would take their place.

We’d all sit around,


Mumbling and complaining,

Or staring into space.

I found it very hard


To get through the day,

Very hard to sleep at night.

But when I saw that car,


Coming closer all the time,

And ripping up the tar,

I knew it was the one for me.

I Must Not Do Anything (Written September 11, 2014)

I Must Not Do Anything


What I want is not to be in this box

Any longer. What I want is a way

To let her go, into whatever life she’s found.


After all these years she’s lost to me,

Perhaps forever. What is most profoundly

Hurtful is not knowing what happened to her,


Where she went that day, why she never came back.

I am waiting for her to come back. I search

For reasons, for answers, and there are none.


What I hope is that she is well, wherever

She is. One day, perhaps, she will phone

Or text me and tell me she loves me. Until then,


I must not do anything to hold her back,

And keep her from living the life she’s chosen.

When she calls, I will write it down, every word.

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.