GRANDDAUGHTER

She touches me
as if I'm rock or tree
immune to time
and gravity, 
impervious to woe.
The twenty years
we’ve left
(with luck and grace)
invisible to her.
 
In her constant now
our cardinal sings
the mac ‘n cheese is hot.
We walk the stones in her backyard
our sacred spot.
She will have time enough
to seek me
in rocks and trees
when I’m gone.

Today she leans
against my jeans 
and turns me
briefly immortal.
 
 

PERFECT DAYS

These mornings are it, life’s glory
disguised as just another Spring day.
Sunshine, leaving for work in the soft air -
a bit of traffic, not too much – an easy commute.
The sweetness of it, life here and now -
The no big deal, the simple day, the normalcy.
It’s what I yearn for when life turns cruel
     to drive over the bridge into town
     to breathe the smell of the river,
     to ride down Main Street as cherry trees blossom.
Give me a day like that, I think
one with no special thoughts or agonies,
a day to enjoy my habits with nothing amiss.
Sometimes I walk right by them without noticing,
these perfect days, driving down Main Street.

FLYING FREE

To go in a puff of feathers, a glory of days,
Soft as clouds of air
Gone – gone – gone.
There are worse things,
Lying there
Suffering in white sheets – tethered to machines’
Endless beeping – intake and outtake monitors -
The blue of fluorescent lights pulsing about you.
A constant parade of people checking, checking, checking,
Reluctant to let you go in case they might save you.
            ‘For what?’ is the unasked question.
            ‘For what – please?’
It’s late in the day for golf.
Americans fear death like quiet.
            Both are becoming hard to find.
            Shop Rite makes me bless my deafness.
 
Feathers and glory
It isn’t all bad to explode out of life
Rather than wait for some soul to pull the plug or
An electrical storm to do what people fear.
            Please God send a power outage -
            I’m outta here.
 
 

TREE MAN

Squirrels remind me of a man
I loved, who with rope and spike
mimicked them
climbing trees and swinging
limb from limb.
“They are my brothers”
he said.  Came home crying one day
because he crushed a nest,
killed babies, when he felled
an oak.
 
I stop to watch
a tree man work today.
High in the air he swings
in chain saw ballet. As
I watch him cut,climb     
leap from limb to limb,
my young life returns to me.
I see my love without a net
fearless and free
against the sky.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TREE MAN

Squirrels remind me of a man
I loved, who with rope and spike
mimicked them
climbing trees and swinging
limb from limb.
“They are my brothers”
he said.  Came home crying one day
because he crushed a nest,
killed babies, when he felled
an oak.
 
I stop to watch
a tree man work today.
High in the air he swings
in chain saw ballet. As
I watch him cut,climb     
leap from limb to limb,
my young life returns to me.
I see my love without a net
fearless and free
against the sky.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

INVASIVES

A flattened Cane Toad lies
in the street.  Its poison can kill a dog. 
They hunt by the garage at night
under the light - run when I come out 
leap into the garage door
with a THUD.  Invasive.
Poisonous. 
Not bright.
 
When the temperature drops
below 40 in South Florida,
iguanas fall from trees like rain.
“Don’t touch them” we’re told
these colorful creatures are dormant.
They advise us to kill them -these visitors
from the Jurassic. I cannot.
How could they know they’re trespassing?
 
Purple stalks of Lupine carpet Iceland
their color pops against green moss.
Their beauty out-competes
local flowers - poses for photo ops
with tourists picnicking by “Keep Off” signs,
blankets old lava flows and glacial melts.
Visitors stride from ships and planes to seek
this island’s treasures - yet urge it to trade
silkies for Sea World.
 
Loosestrife blooms each August at riverside
in my old town.  The mill wheel turns.
Art hangs in the stone museum. 
People come for the small shops and fine buildings
but stay for quiet streets overcast by ancient trees.
The area booms when the Interstate is finished -
corporate folks out-compete farmers. 
Agway loses to Walmart.
Commuters careen past hay wagons
on country roads.