………………………………………………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.
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.
I wonder if Jacqueline appreciated
the seriousness of Andy’s study
of JFK’s assassination, or his
portrayal of her life afterward?
Did Mao find the humor
in his cartoonish caricature?
Would Marilyn be secure enough
to understand no amount of screen-
printed color could hide the glamour?
Is Campbell’s appreciative of the massive
amounts of free advertising?
Did Valerie know her bullets would alter
the tone-focus-mood of the art
as much as they altered the body
of the artist?
I know hate is unreasonable,
a waste of energy and emotion,
especially when directed against
a thing which has no emotion.
Knowing the truth of this, however,
does not prevent the rise of ire and irritation
for I do well and truly despise the river birch
which resides in my front yard.
It is an ugly thing; thin, spindly branches
which droop and hang low,
falling to the lawn more often than
a disillusioned wife drops condescending criticisms.
It exhibits no pride of appearance,
none of the majesty or mystery of its
white barked cousin, its peeling and shedding
more like a quarantined severe eczema test case.
I cuss the thing daily, scowling at the scattered
twigs and branches on the lawn,
a spiteful replenishment of what I picked up
the day before. I really hate that tree.