Grandfather, A Man I Didn’t Know

I thought of my grandfather last night,

he was not an easy person. 

All of his medals are on my son’s wall,

and the boxes where he kept his purple hearts

are stack neatly next to my favorite books.

He wouldn’t mind, this I know.

He was never beyond being my grandfather -

so the flag, folded neatly on the day we

parted seems the only thing left I understand.

I know now he was not who I remember,

he was someone different,

the glimpses of him I was not suppose to see

come back to me.

I was never frightened then.

I am a little now.

 

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No, Mother

Sonno profondo

Just sleep, nothing horrific or gothic.

At peace but that, alas,

Has no better connotation:

requiescat in pace.

My mother wishes me to dye my hair,

She misses the auburn color

Of a young woman not there.

It’s still there mother

But the silver is starting to really bleed through.

Bleed then, for nothing can be replaced by a bottle.

I dress in black and wonder if it’s true that

Most old women think that black does something

Something less

Noticeable.

Do I mourn?

Do I dance?

In black?

 

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What I Want

What I want is for you to feel
The pull of my heart.
What I want is for you to stop
Pointing at me.
We could live to see the day
That I hold your hand to ease my
Fear
You
Well you could learn to let me hold you.
Stand in the midst of the vastness of a young earth just once.
Just once.
Feel the length of time as a day,
A day an eternity.
There is nothing new in this idea,
Stand please and think of me,
Feel the pull of my heart, hear the call of my voice – the inland sea
Never mine to keep but to love
Like you
Please

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Young

The steady tap of foot upon street doesn’t distracted me. I sit within the door well deep with shadow and watch them walk by, none of them see me, and still they suspect the existence of me.
The gait in which they step is as telling as as the breath they leave behind on a cold November night. Yes some mean harm to the girls who take the short cut home – not me. I sit, wait and hold my breath so as not to give myself away.
I watch the girls walk by, some sway , some march but some only walk
Young girls don’t stick to much my mother used to say They stick to walking when they should run, they stick to that I say.

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This Night

No causes this night, no disagreements to overcome,
You’ve done with your life what needed to be done. I kiss the skin above your heart but feel the uniform never really gone.
Your anger your regrets give those to me – smooth down upon my skin the heat and warmth of your touch -
A touch that means centuries, moments of struggles ending in giving up, then don’t, this I plead, don’t give up.
Make one with me the diametric two of us, live before our children the power of love, for me. Cover me during the quietness of the house, cradle me in sleep.
I kiss you deep in the middle of the day, during the heat and frustration the noise and the demands, pulling from you always the strength I need.

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Mourning

Her features in sepia accentuated her then youth as well as foretold her strength in old age. 

None of that fleeting beauty; her jaw line, her brow, the straight shoulders under the soft white of her blouse. 

When I was young she seemed so tall and her cane to me was something I envied – she leaned into it casually, like old age.

What was he like to be able to woo and win her, who is he now, long in his grave.  

She had little to do with me,

small children were to be kept at a distance;

not to hide the decrepitude, nor was she in fear of becoming confused

We, the great grandchildren were simply a sign of continuance into what we were not sure.  

She wore tweed pants and a high collar white shirt that sunk into a vee, which from the photo seemed too low for society. 

She was laughing and her hair was cut short, her hands strong upon his arms. 

Soon after her photo in sepia was taken and placed within the newspapers  – a bride to be.

What was he like to be able to woo and win her, who is he now long in his grave.

She died quietly and privately one very early July morning and we all gathered around, children, grandchildren,

great grandchildren. 

We whispered as if she could hear us

Though there was no weeping a sadness hung heavy.  She took with her an era that we could not retrieve -

a tall straight back sort of people that even in our black mourning we could not seem to reach.

 

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Weep

The soft awakening happens to others not me – I’m to blame.
I look with envy upon two of anything then disdain my weakness
A decision is a decision, not a regret
Not yet.
Between me and the growing fog a window pane reflects what room surrounds me -
I concentrate upon the reflection and wait
I weary and long for the comfort of ignorance which oddly enough lessens the dread
Of what haunts me
Find me ready – she cannot win though she walks on air and makes men weep.

Posted in Fear, Poetry, Summer | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

She Wasn’t Sure

she felt he was tough on her; she was sitting on the edge of love that was true

but still

when he was in the next room she felt the aloneness of his rebukes, his voice hard

and then over.

his sweat was an aphrodisiac and when she was in a crowded elevator heading to yet

another meeting in another city she thought of his shirt, wet, and his face frowning in concentration

over something in the yard he knew she loved.

he laughed with her when she wrapped her arms around his neck his hands locking into the small

of her back.  When they were together like that she sensed his caution, his mistrust

did she love him, did she simply want him.

She wasn’t sure

when they touched, when they loved, she tried to separate her mind from

the heat of the two, he knew – he knew and his anger was instantaneous – stay, stay with me

he would say, frowning, pulling away;

she was too week to let him and would cling to whatever he demanded

until he was in the other room, across town, across the country.

his laughter was a balm to her and she heard it in the empty hotel room.  The bar downstairs too far to go

and the night too long without a phone call that he couldn’t really concentrate upon. 

She wasn’t sure

as she sat down to her computer and another blank screen, his voice in the back ground talking to the cat

in indistinguishable words that distracted her

“What are you writing?” his shirt open, his expression looking a little lost

“About the times I’m certain I love you,” she says

 

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Your Future

I’ve very little time, which of course is good for both of us.

I want to say your name, soldier, but I won’t, names are too painful to use.

I don’t believe you, that you are real.  I believe, yes, that you are physically lovely,

you’ve seen too much, and you hurt.

I wish (an awful two words spoken by any woman – men not so much) I wish

we were in a crowd, a very large crowd and you caught me looking at you. 

I wish I were young enough to blush and you brave enough to say hello.

Then I would have believed you.

I’ve walked on the ice for too long now, soldier, and prefer the winter wind

and despite myself it is I who alone hears the wolf howl – she calls to me.

What I want for you is the warmth of summer,

but I see only causes in your future. 

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I Sleep With Books

I don’t sleep alone. I sleep with books near the length and breadth of my narrow double bed.
I read the likes of Henry James and Oscar Wilde and try not to surrender to the idea that they”re real.
I want to surrender.
I sleep with others their words wake me in the dark and whisper through touch to my ear.
I sleep with books.

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