Posts Tagged ‘age’

Waiting for Reality

What had ended as a game
had began as a puzzle
with grand trappings
of sharp angles
soft fabrics
and applause.

The difference was the patience
involved in gift giving.
One can wait so very long for their gift
unless others have it.
Snow fell on every one of my birthdays.

My mother ran out of things to teach me
while the oven baked our secret recipe.
500 million grains of sand having
filled my body at that point
and so much silence left
on the beach we shared.

I made short friends.
Of number height and magnitude.
Things you can’t say
because your mouth
is stuck in a smile. I long for the cool
numbness of the corners
when I can relax.

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Bending forward
she looked close enough to catch
her butt pressed
against the base of an enormous tree.
I was ‘it’ – and awkward long and skinny
limbs were horses driving a chariot.

The illusion of proximity
caused me to grow in size and strength.
Not enough to overcome
the recent changes.
She was tall and thick now like the tree
yet as flexible as the grass
tickling her bare feet.

The sun’s eyes bounced
off her tan skin. Like my eyes
bounced in hurried excitement.
Like dodgeballs bounce.
Like she bounced when she walked
or talked. Up on her toes with
a grin of energy.

I reached the base of the tree
and she was gone.
Like breath escaping
adolescent lungs
just a moment before you
can speak.

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Silence, though a dense and wet snow,
did not affect the gas mileage
of our car. Vain hopes of a red E –
the exit from this thick inertia
vanished behind us – though still appeared close.

That would be a palpable metaphor
for our emptiness. A foreshadowing
of future events. Yet, the girth
of the tank loomed like our heavyset November
Stuffed and gurgling dynamo
filling the silence as we remember.

Reality clung like cobwebs to the face
of a fat cat. Its stuffy tang on our sandpaper tongues.
Its sticky body meant to capture passing pests
had become a meal. You redressed me as a lawyer
with those sticky words. You stopped at alleged, the
next word too lodged inside you to come out.

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I watched the tree
bend under the weight
of possibilities.
A bending deer head
reflecting as it breaks
the plane to refresh.
I see the hunter
hanging, spinning, sitting
in a knot around its neck.
Red like blood, like stop,
like face paint and strawberry jam
signalling a pass over.
He is He.
With a hand over his head
to shade the eyes
meant to eat and own
the meat of the world.
In a flash it is all past
all prologue
under the wandering wheels
of a rust colored estate car.

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Save the Day

Still young
I had no inclination
to make a realistic space
for play.
An ambulance carved
whiff-skew patterns
in mother’s carpet.
Alarming bombast
in my elastic mouth
eeeooo eeeooo.

It was a softer sound
my mother would make
when applying band-aids
to skinned knees.
A tap on the head signaled
that maintenance was complete
and without fear
I went to play with the boys.
eeeooo eeeooo.

It was older when I discovered that
the siren signaled hope, not trouble.
The marks of a car going whiff-skew
against wet pavement run to the base of a tree.
A single leaf alternates red and blue
as the ambulance pulls away.
Alarming bombast stuck in my throat.

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Dead Air

A Midwest grain-fed family
mostly nuclear
with an aged woman called grandma
clings to traditions
like lasagna Wednesdays
and taco Tuesdays.
The blue haired one
yells a racist slur
when the phone rings
but its ok, she is old.

I spend my days calling
strangers friend
and remembering
that honesty
is a casualty
of my business.
My voice travels a flattened world
though occasionally disconnected
I place collection calls
from a cubed cave in Colorado.

He asks if I have anything else to do
and if I could place some more calls
I say “I’d prefer not to”
and then let my fingers dial
another series of convicts
awaiting there daily trials
fresh from work coming home.
He answers because he is fighting
with his wife. He pretends to be interested
only to feel human.

I desire to ask hey,
how are you today?
Or perhaps get more involved
like how is the weather in Buffalo.
Are the skies as gray as I left them?
I push that meaning through the
message I have be trained to say
and sometimes there is a flicker of life –
and still others there is dead air.

“Grandma, the children. At the
dinner table?” She fears
they will misunderstand
or even worse,
“Who was that on the phone,
hun?” He asks. Hoping they never heard
the elder speak.
“Nothing dear” Her words leave
her lips weak. “Just dead air.”

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Watch the clockwork children play,
two pupiled place holder eyes
long for the path of the freeway
that their forefathers criticized.

At night, they sleep, without fear
of snakes and monsters under the bed.
Mom’s comforting prayer
“You can’t die if you’re already dead.” 

Bravery is only a virtue if you have something to lose
but all that can be lost is the nothing they are
brains in computers, programmed to choose
between options too real and too far.

They are the new Achilles, born in the Styx,
walking zombies that death cannot fix.

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