Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Something about the moment, the exact
brightness of the sun’s rays, a delicate degree
of the slightest breeze through broken limbs of
the pine trees-the slightest scent of their sap,
just enough to make me remember my father.
It’s happening a lot these days, you know.

Sometimes it’s a cardinal on a chain link fence,
the scent of fresh brewed coffee after dinner,
slow moving smoke from a neighbor’s chimney,
a shiny white pickup truck in the parking lot, or
a few words strung together, a certain phrase,
a song playing over speakers in a grocery store.

Lately it’s the little things, maybe it’s a stage
of the grieving process, ministers speak of this
at funerals, psychologists write about it in books.
It stops me in my tracks, I think about my father
and the others who are long gone- the old ones,
aunts, uncles, grandmothers, and grandfathers.

I go to a lonely place, for a bit, but snap back quickly.
Please don’t worry about me; I keep going on and on.
These times are messages, little taps on my shoulder,
faint whispers saying, it’s alright, alright to miss them.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


They imagined a break in, an abduction,
figured a young woman had been snatched
while loading her groceries and thrown into
an old pervert’s panel van to be a sex slave.
They’d called the police and waited for him.
Two Shop-Rite grocery store workers, serving as
crime stoppers, neighborhood watch, good citizens.
Looks of disappointment feel on their faces as
I walked to my Jeep with its passenger door open.
They commented on the fact that I was a guy.
I told them how I loaded up my groceries but
must’ve forgotten to close a door when I ran into
the Pet Store. Last week I’d done the same thing
at work, but without so much uproar or drama.
They explained how they’re prepared for this,
what they thought happened, how they got cameras,
how I couldn’t leave, I’d have to prove it was my car.
When the cop rolled up, he didn’t want to see papers,
he knew it was just a case of an absent minded guy
who didn’t close a car door and a couple of grocery store
workers who'd watched too much Law and Order or CSI
hoping to be part of something big this Saturday morning.


Sometimes we’d call each other on holidays.
Most of the time we meant to, but didn’t.
We never sent each other birthday cards and
probably never took notice when looking at
a calendar that it was a day to call each other.
A couple times a year, we spoke on the phone
when he had a spare moment or when my wife
reminded me that staying in touch is important.

Now, these days while driving and looking out
across an open field, I think about how much
I want to tell him, how much I would say,
if I could have just one more conversation.
We’d talk about the weather, old times,
relatives, his grandson doing well in school.
Each day, I say to myself, like so many others now-
If only he was still alive. I’d call him again, and again.