I am remiss in not posting something earlier in observance of Veteran’s Day.
deserving of all praise.
They face the things you will not —
do not belittle, nor forget —
for security, freedom, and peace.
odds are it will tomorrow.
Our lives have not changed.
The leaves swirl and prance,
moved by the force of the wind;
no will of their own.
Each summer I fight the continued attack
of kudza on the edges of our backyard,
the creep and climb of the intrusive vines,
tendrils of new advances appearing daily.
It is a strong, stubborn invader,
ropy and stringy, it insinuates itself into
the metal grid of the fence, twists around
trunks and branches, reaching for any opening
to infiltrate and establish a hold.
There is a feeling of sententious resistance,
a will opposing my attempts to remove
the encompassing presence from my property.
There are occasional small victories,
a growth perverted, an encroachment stalled.
More often it is a false triumph, the last bit
of growth out of reach, half of a root left
in the ground to grow another day.
I can see it happening, watch the unwelcome
intrusion of the green wisps as they infringe
upon the ability of other plants to freely grow.
Lean in close —
against your better judgement,
of course — listen to the talk
of wild nights,
justifications and temporal promises.
Try to back away —
after all, this is really
beneath you — but linger
wait for the balance
of the tale,
where doubt met pain,
disillusionment begat heartbreak,
and love was never
a variable in the equation.
I sit alone on the deck
with my coffee;
the first Sunday of the year with a cool
breeze and low enough humidity
to enjoy being outside.
I watch a smattering of birds
flit among the trees,
a butterfly or two traverse the yard,
the occasional reluctant sound of a day
beginning drifts through the trees.
I try and focus on the present,
the quiet, the peace,
try and grasp the significance
of a date,
and attempt to resist anger,
hate and worry.
The first tree to have turned is the one
most fully engulfed by the kudzu;
there is significance to this…
Leaves fall by ones and twos,
a slow drift through the quiet
of the morning.
We are in a restaurant, unknown to each other, at adjacent tables, when I take my companion’s hand and bow my head, ask a blessing and give thanks for our meal, speaking low so that only we two can hear. If I were to turn partway through, while you thought my eyes were closed, would I catch you roll your eyes, or perhaps snicker a little, as you brush aside my aside my actions as naive, or quaint, or antiquated? Would you post something about me later, dismissing the fruitless actions of the unknown guy at lunch? What if I chose to participate in the feeding of the poor by being present each time the plate was passed; would you think it foolish to trust a church to do good with my funds? What if I told you in casual conversation that I believed salvation had been granted on a cross, that a covenant had been entered and that any who wished were free to take part? Would you sneer, or argue, or just leave, deeming me dimwitted and unworthy of conversation; would you judge me for my actions and my single, simple belief, all the while claiming none other should be judged for theirs? Would you insist I keep my ideas to myself and out of public view, all the while fighting for all others right of free expression and acceptance.