escribí esto para mi tío – July 2021

The elders are going
One by one they take their leave
last breathes
Or whispered goodbyes
Sometimes without any words at all

Thin tall frames
Short lumpy ones too
Heads full with memories and songs
Ever varying shades of gray

They’ve gathered all their days
In a white cloth made of cotton
And tied them to a stick
With a string
And thrown them over shoulders

Waving off the June bugs
Dipping head and shoulders beneath the willows sway
Whistling or humming or singing as they walk off into the deep green

Or into the dessert beige
Beneath blues and reds and pinks
Mountain ranges wave as they pass
Sometimes silent as they go
Or with wide smiles and laughter recalled

I’ll not forget, I pray
The way you laughed
The rhythmic way you walked
Never

The breeze rises slow and strong
lifting dust from earth
gently falling down
Like the tears we weep at your leaving
I try but no thing makes your leaving less like your leaving

all day

all day today I waited for you

for you to come see

for you to come close and say

but when you did come you didn’t see

you didn’t say

the sky was far too blue

the waters far too fine

for anything like that

from you to me

or me to you

so we sat awhile in those chairs you like

and smoked a pile of leaves

writing in the ashes

then it was time for you to go again

and time for me to wave goodbye

with head bowed down

in the rooms living

down the hall

laughter rings

bouncing off of walls

dipping underneath archways

coming my way

in the next room voices deep

in that room little ones are arguing

she pleads her case

while she stands her ground

the water running in that sink sings

along to the tune from that pocket

the twang hums

the birds chirp

the smell of toast taosting

wafting in and out

in this room tears

for the hard talks had today

and so many other hard things

from today and yesterday

and last month

and all those other hard things

and days

and words

and blood stained stones

hard things from so long ago

bags and wagons and pockets full

of yesterday’s sorrows

of yesteryear’s hurts

of long past offences

and a million years of loss

piled up here

in this space

beneath these beams

on top of my head

tiny

Tiny silver spoon

I’m so happy to have met you

Me in my jeans and flip flops

Shiny from car air and the miles

You in that trap made of logs

Did the sign say they were hand crafted?

Building square and tall

In the shadow of all those trees

Next to that highway

Brimming with tourists

And other tiny silver spoons

I picked you

Not because of your shine

And not for your blessed silverness

Or because of the wee acorn

Perched atop your end

But because you can so easily

Chase the sweet brown sweetness

That is my favorite hazelnut spread

And live cozily in any

Of the 53 pockets of my bag

day off

Tell all the things

From morning to end

The day

In that hotel

Or at that friends old cabin

And the trip to get food

And the suitcase

and the packing

and that coffee treat spilled in the lap

And the drive

And the flat tire

And the cat

And the mattress

and the inability to do anything at all except stare at the tv

and the lack of energy to enjoy or feel as if something had been accomplished

And then the panic as the hours tick by

And the one good thing

Seemingly mundane

That was the thing that took one over the line from exhausted to rested

And then noticing things that one hadn’t noticed before

Feeling warm from the sun

And thankful and hearing birds

And wondering what the bird was

and feeling one should learn these things

and the walk

And the crackle of pine cones beneath the shoes

And the mans dog barking at you on the path

And husband calling

And texting

And missing the calls

And semi terrible food

And craving wine

And all that thinking

And praying and hearing God

and feeling at once that one could go on

And then the breeze

And the packing

And the drive

And singing out loud

And crying at the freedom

And coming in to a toddler tantrum

And the glare of the teen

And the supportive but exhausted and done husband

And unpacking

And kids relaying their day

And all the fun

And the fish for dinner

And the cleaning of the kitchen because he is already asleep

And that bedtime routine

And the pillow

The sound of the fan In the bathroom

And his snoring

And tucking in kids again

And kissing of heads again

And prayers

And hand on cheeks

And feeling thankful

And sleep

And a dream that felt so real

Another man

Another life

Another chance to make choices and then in the middle of the dream remembering you already have a life

A man

A family

And you can’t live this strange dream

And waking up feeling guilty for having dreamt it

And feeling a little sad that the time is already spent

Big brown eyes staring at you then in the bed

Tiny people have joined

Sleeping like octopi

Feet in ribs

Arms in crannies

Hair everywhere

Tiny nose

Little mouth

Beautiful baby and then

The thankfulness is deeper than one has ever known

And you are glad the dream was a dream

Because you see for just a moment the meaning of life

From baby to toddler and cuddle bug to wiry gal and gent and man boys and young men and women

And the giving to them purpose with your own

To love others

To love others well

Because God loves you

and you loved them

And the next day

And then the pillow

And then sleep

And a dream

And your all walking in a meadow

A garden

And peace is like air

And you all feel loved

You don’t often feel loved

Or lovable so it’s a stark change but it’s like the sun on the skin and the water on your body

You are loved

All of you and it’s real

And there is such peace and

The alarm goes off

And your eyes open

Brown and blinking

Long lashes

Disbelieved hair

Sheets with tiny flowers on them

Sunlight slipping in through curtains edge

And he is there breathing

Warm

And you are happy

Away

The sun sets behind a building made of wood and stone and earth: time. She is a fireball in the sky. Burning orange with her shoulders wide, arms stretched out over the horizon, head back and into the sky.

I am passenger on swift moving train racing over the miles like wind past this scene. It is slow and beautiful and fierce and fast and sad.

Pale blues give way to deeper shades. I try to remember. I must stir. I must wake. I must write it down.

Lost are those long slender days when pain was less known to these bones. Fists clenched but the days have slipped through. The decades are left, waylaid and unremembered.

With the darkening sky weariness settles in as my eyelids close. And the gentlest wisp of cloud carries even these memories away, tucking them safely into its billowed folds: past.