her

see her in the parking lots

pushing carts of treasures past

tattered dolls and tarnished pots

harshly judged and never asked

scraggly hair and faded eyes

hollow bones, a shaky frame

pure of heart, though none surmise

human rat without a name

someone once belonged to her

needed her like lungs need air

all that happened now a blur

echoed in her vacant stare

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The Verdict

I can’t say I’m surprised to get the news.

It falls in line with my unchosen course,

arriving just in time to disabuse

me of the hope that fate is not the source.

I pray that nothing changes for the worse

before I’ve time to take stock of my debts,

to pick out my own coffin and a hearse,

adorned with golden filigree vignettes.

Though … six good men can’t heft it, I’m afraid.

Regret and sorrow overload the joints,

disfiguring my final promenade

with spectacle that never disappoints.

A blaze of glory seems the better end,

the course of action I, myself, intend.

Birthday Story

On my birthday, every year, my mom would tell the tale,

the story of the day that I was born,

when first I tasted air and belted out my premier wail.

It happened on a pleasant Friday morn.

I know what was in the bag she packed to take along,

and how they passed an orchard on the way,

the smell of blossoms from the orange trees wafting, sweet and strong,

their favorite song the radio would play.

I know the cast of characters who helped in my breach birth.

Dr. Annie Lamb would see me first,

a great role model, who would bring me forth to greet this earth,

as from my mother’s womb, my rear end burst.

It’s a great tradition I looked forward to each year,

hearing all about my grand debut.

When she’d tell my sister’s story, I would always hear,

catching, each time, something that seemed new.

┬áNow that Mom’s been gone some years, we slowly lose some parts,

grasping at the bits we both have left.

We share what we remember of our humble, messy starts

and of our mother, whose death rendered us bereft.

heartache

growing up, I thought the word heartache was just a metaphor

but now I know that it’s literal and not figurative

it’s not a simile “like my heart’s being smashed on the floor”

real pain burning my chest, not its descriptive derivative

hot, enervating, radiating ache which will not subside

it’s all focused where my heart is physically located

not imagery in this poem, that’s how it feels inside

heartache’s an apt description that should not be underrated

pet peeve: people using “literally” when they don’t mean it

so I want to be clear that that’s not what I am doing now

this heartache feels like it might literally kill lest it quit

everyday it’s harder to say that’s something I won’t allow

 

 

 

 

Opportunity

abandoning corporeal restraints

discovering your perfect chance to fly

no longer subject to the pain that taints

autonomy in infinite supply

absorbing new sensations full of ease

rejoicing as you’ll never fear again

unlocked now are the chains of your disease

no bleeding like a ruptured fountain pen

eluding facts of crime and war and hate

no challenge scaling rubble or steep scree

ascending high above embracing fate

examples you set writ on my marquis

all enemies are vanquished and dissolve

as far beyond mere humans you evolve

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