………………………………………………of its path
They park out by the road
on the edge of the gas station
or sometimes the grocery store
or a church.
Probably not the one they attend,
but still, a church.
They move bundles and bags
the necessities of a young life:
diaper bag, change(s) of clothes,
formula, toys, pacifiers, blankets.
The content changes with age,
the concept stays the same;
transient growth, multiple caregivers.
Often it is a young mom
handing off to her mother,
who gladly accepts
another round of raising babies,
even though she is supposed to be past
that time of her life.
Other times it is the parents,
a couple’s love abandoned,
a child to nurture.
He listens to instructions,
attempting patience with
words he has heard before.
She wrings her hands often.
Grandma always leaves slowly,
cautious with precious cargo,
dad is quicker, with something to prove.
Mom tends to wait a while,
only leaving when they are
out of sight.
This concept of a magic reset switch
which flips with a calendar page
Come January first will we be…better?
Will we hate less, love more?
Shall we develop empathy overnight,
or an ability to listen to — much less
understand — the words of an adversary?
Perhaps we should resolve less,
and do more.
You left me.
I asked you to come, you chose to stay behind.
I wondered where you were, what you were doing, who you were with…I worried.
I called, but you would never answer. I sent for you, but you would not come. I wanted you, but spent my days alone and wandering.
Autumn came late this year, the leaves seeming to fall the same day they turn, and all at once.
For weeks you cannot walk outside without the crunch of them underfoot. Each passing car and stray breeze releases a sound like pencils scratching on vellum.
I sit outside and listen late into the chill night, trying to tie each sound to the dead leaf making it.
I know what I seek is not out here in the shadows, but the only thing inside is her broken music box, which only plays late at night when the world is still.
The quest has become consuming,
a desire to try and find meaning,
satisfaction in events of the day
and some signal there are others
who mimic our thoughts and ideals.
It is elusive, this walk upon the shore
a crusade to detect the sigh
of a lover in the mist,
to find a specific pine needle in a forest,
to detect the echoing chime of truth
in a politician’s promises.
Frustrating, this insistence on symbiosis,
maddening as the pursuit of happiness
or attempts to understand women,
fruitless as the anger which causes
us to throw pebbles at the sky.
We argue with the wind,
unable to change another’s mind,
much less the world.
the words are always more limber
in my mind than how they appear on the page
or escape from my mouth.
My son moved out today…
He packed the clothes he would need,
the books he wanted near,
his favorite mementos,
and said goodbye to his dog.
He hugged his sister, his mother,
setting his sights on new chapters and grand
excited by the anticipation
of great things to come.
While we are not sure what to do,
other than pet the dog
and avoid the empty room
at the end of the hall.