The park forty years later is still green half the year,
and empty, though its emptiness courses
from indifference rather than vandalism, created
by children no longer running barefoot down a hill.
I had to pass the bully’s house on the way
to the park. The house was patched together
with plywood and the weeds hid snipers
with slingshots and rocks big as my kneecaps. Continue reading
In the rusted brown Chevy truck,
You explore the back roads of my childhood
With me, the creeks chilling my youth,
The ditch where I fell over on my bike
After a day in the sun. I lay there
In the poison ivy shade of scrub oaks
Until my head stopped spinning, Continue reading
for Lea, 9-9-1962 to 8-30-2012
It is late October, and a red rose bush
Is blooming on the south side of her house,
In that best place for the light. I remember
How she could draw a flower
When we were in high school, a few
Simple strokes and strange beauty appeared. Continue reading
The stump of the locust tree roared
When its body fell away from it
In the April wind before the land
Clocked its beat into her, the roar
Evident in the toothy spears of bark
Stalagmited from its edge, the hollow
Of age rifled by coon, snake and beetle. Continue reading
for Roxann on her birthday
“Open you mouth,”
She said to sister Kelly,
Sitting in the high chair,
Smelling those mashed turnips,
Knowing none of that
Was getting in. Continue reading
At 5:17, the coyotes end their run,
their cries circling in on each other,
a haunting cyclone of sound you never forget.
Sometimes the world you outgrew
reclaims you, surrounding you in its ever-ness.
Keep coming closer.
If you have left anything behind,
you don’t need it.
If the darkness threatens to drown you,
remember what is there.