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Thursday, January 28, 2010

HOLDING HANDS


is awkward now, for the both of them,
out without their son, she complains
about how her joints ache, how his
wedding ring hurts as they hold hands.

They keep on going, thinking about
how they used to always walk like this.
From the corner of his eye, she looks
like that young girl he found in college.

But they’re both older now, changed.
White hairs on his chin far outnumber
the brown, the red, the blonde ones.
They keep walking, into another bookstore.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

BEHIND

We threw out what was left
of the Halloween candy today,
the Smarties, a few boxes of Nerds,
Laffy Taffy, a handful of Dum Dums.
Finally we take a Sunday afternoon
to rake up the mounds of leaves.

We’re the last ones on the block
to rake, again. Each neighbor’s lawn,
dark green, clear of the faded mess
from the too many oak trees that fill
the tiny yards on our suburban street.
They have their brown paper sacks
lined up neatly on the curb for pick up.
I am behind again, just starting to deal
with my cursed homeowner duties.

Look forward to Thursday,Thanksgiving,
anticipating the day after even more,
a day off to sit, to read, to write, to rest.
Filling my last paper bag, I prop it up
on the edge of my yard and look down
the street, three houses down they’re
stringing Christmas lights on the bushes
and inflating a Charlie Brown snow globe.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

MY WORST FEAR


Afraid of working for thirty years
and finding out at a doctor’s office
that I’ve got some incurable disease.
Pancreatic cancer like my grandmother
or Lou Gehrig’s disease like Cousin Eric.
A stroke, skin cancer, massive heart attack
in my easy chair one Tuesday afternoon
watching CNN or The Weather Channel.

Afraid of not getting to travel the world, never
seeing the Eifel Tower, The Great Wall of China,
Egypt’s pyramids, a soccer game in England.
Afraid I won’t see my son begin his life or
if I don’t live long enough to meet his wife
and kids or afraid I won’t be around
long enough to take them to all the places
I went with him when he was a young boy.

Afraid to know that I won’t be remembered
by too many people as time keeps moving on.
Afraid of not waking up one night, dying from
sleep apnea and my wife would have to deal
with big dead me. I wouldn’t want her to have
to tell my son, Come up here son,say goodbye,
your father is gone, have a moment with him
before I call the rescue squad to take him
.

And with all this thinking of myself, my selfish thoughts,
I think about one day having to bury my wife or son,
this is truly my worst fear, a thousand times more.



*Ideas for this were sparked at a NYC writing workshop with Denise Duhamel after she shared with us the poem of the same title, My Worst Fear by Cyn Zarco. I let it sit,pecked at it a bit,then polished it. LL