Poetry

Poetry

Wristbands

He looked down at the black letters
on the white plastic wristband;
name, date of birth,
blood type;
antiseptic.

How different it was
from the last wristband he wore;
brightly colored and sparkling
in spite of
the music festival
mud.

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Contemplative Snow Shoveling

It is still dark when I rise,
a late winter storm
having dropped
a heavy blanket
of snow
on the driveway.

I normally spend this hour
in contemplation and study
but I know
it will take me
much longer
to clear
the driveway.

The waning gibbous moon
hangs low in the western sky
flanked by two bright stars,
or perhaps
more likely,
by the planets
Venus
and Saturn.

I lean on my shovel,
relax;
I can feel each muscle
in my body.

Deep breaths.
What is your body telling you?
I feel my heart pounding
within my chest.
It is telling me
to go slowly
to pace myself;
wise advice
for both
the shoveling
and life.

The scape of my shovel
and the scrape
of a distant plow
are joined
by the wind chime
swaying
in the post storm
breeze.

Light of the World

You are the light of the world,
but what sort of light are you?

Are you the campfire
that everyone gathers around
for warmth and companionship,
perhaps to share some sweet food?

Are you the lighthouse
casting a light
for out o’er the sea
warning others
of nearby dangers?

Are you the spotlight
helping others
find something important
or focusing on
an actor on stage?

Are you the lights
at a party or concert
bringing joy
to all who see it?

Are you the flashlight
or candle
after the power has gone out?

Are you moonlight;
a reflection of some greater light?

Donuts

Sometimes,
all you can do
is bring donuts
to those times
when there are no words

Maybe you ask,
“so, how are you doing?”
even though
you know
they aren’t doing
all that well.

It is an invitation
to speak,
to say anything,
no matter how
mundane,
inane,
or profound.

You sit,
quietly,
awkwardly,
but fully present.

You hold
part of a donut
wishing
somehow
you could make it all better.

You look down at your hands
wishing
you could say something
do something,
and slowly
perhaps irreverently
or perhaps not,
the words
take shape
in your mind.

“This is my donut
broken for you.”

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Grief

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this”
he thought as he crawled into his empty bed.
“We were supposed to grow old together.”

It had been like this every night
since his husband died a few months ago.

At first, he was incapacitated by grief
but slowly,
he managed to resume
some of the simple tasks of life.
Over the following weeks
he started relearning
how to live.

The death came
as unexpectedly
as their love;
an inter-racial
same-sex marriage
that broke just about
every taboo.

They had fallen in love
suddenly, impetuously
knowing that they could not live
without each other.

Their friends gathered
rejoicing
at the joining of two lives.

Then, just as suddenly
one half
of their shared life
came to an end
and the remaining half
painfully
readjusted.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this”

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