Today vs 355 Days Ago

Today I watched an emergency vehicle roar

followed by a chorus of five more

the hymn they sang was not for me

but I found myself unable to breathe

I started to panic, filled with fear

as if they were suddenly going to stop here

I wear her shirts and her ashes

as if those would conjure her

breathe, ironically, life back to her

to us

to the moment in time where we were

all of we, together, being happily.

It was a feeling of holy

a feeling of communion

as we broke bread together

The laughter we shared

reciting our ancient tales

filled us faster than food

She just at fifty, me at 49

We’d spent a love-time of life

but never enough time

The chaplain at the hospital said,

on the day Bean really died,

Maybe you were the face of God

she had to see before she could

finally be at peace.”

It was the most comforting words

because I often think of them.

I often think of Bean’s face in that same way,

the face I needed see before she went home

Shadows Vanish

shadows

Try as I might, I can’t keep from weeping

I wish upon wish, my traditions keeping

But from my heart, my tears are leaking

Your silence screams at my speaking

Oh, how I wish you’d trusted me more

Instead of looking for ways to score

From my chest, my heart you tore

But those are shadows of vanished lore

I love(d) you with every bit of my being

From our home you stole while fleeing

Every bit of our future fleeting

I wish, I wish that you were seeing

As these holidays warm others homes

 

I watch and miss you, feeling alone

My traditions are now gone to tome

May love find you someday, wherever you roam.

Cycle turns

flowergarden

I am an untended garden, riddled with forget-me-nots and weeds

My earth has not been furrowed asunder; tilling life to the topsoil

I have grown fallow, un-supporting of life, but yet, there are some

perennials that cling to a hope of return, of vibrancy dallying

But I can only roll over in my floral nightgown, whimpering in my bed

allowing the blistering son to scorch my once glorious stance

I admit, I’ve become self-watering. I needn’t wait for the gardener

My groans of grief roil the soil, creating bitter roots exposed as lies

Everyone knows that when the earth laughs, people die.

She accepts their bodies back to her world, but I could still breathe

so I am not granted respite from the overabundant fertilizer spewed

over my once lush landscape. But, I will rise, for the weeds can’t hang on

when I forbid grasping of my rooted passion for life. Here she comes

the one that removes the rot with compassionate hands.

Here he comes, the one that scratches that spot in the very middle

She tends to me while singing lightly a childhood song forgotten

He digs deep with his grip, releasing the tainted, blighted plants

She opens the earth to expose me to the warmth of attention

He plants perennial seeds to grow through the coming seasons.

I inhale deeply, knowing that my rebirth will again grow fruitful.

My cycle continues in ample countenance to their loving attention.

I await my own fruition. I will grant only the very best of myself

to create the most beautiful garden I can create. This, is why I weep.

Ronnie Bill

I was told that I’m not allowed to offer family advice.

Twenty years gone but I made it out alive.

Let me tell you why you’re wrong, because you are.

I KNOW

what it’s like to hold bitterness

what it feels like to reject those who love me

what holidays, loneliness, and anger tastes like

what Christmas morning looks like without oranges

what Thanksgiving is like without mincemeat pie

what birthdays feel like without shared history seeping

what anguish unsupported loss endures

I KNOW

what it took to wake me up (although I’m sure you think it was you)

what I had to realize before I could bolster my courage

what it is to ask forgiveness for being a fool

to walk into the unknown with hat in hand

to step cautiously to the edge of the cliff and

JUMP

I KNOW

how much damage I’ve done but not to the extent

what rebuilding a bridge with still smoldering lumber is like

that sometimes bitterness takes the form of pride

that abuses of history, privilege, and birthright exist

that time goes faster than a blink

that it’s far later than you’d think

I KNOW

right now, (not that you’ll read this) you’re lost

you blame me for not having money, not loving him, but

most of all for loving you and not choking on your pride.

You are so far in the darkness that the light feels like an insult

I love you despite yourself.

I’ll still be here when you’re ready.

I made my six year old vow to always be there for you,

I KNOW

you didn’t and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t and didn’t for him

you won’t believe me.

I’m okay with that.

you need to return home before you’re too afraid to come back

you’re a better man than you’ve become

I believe in you even if I don’t understand why you chose this way.

I KNOW. I see. I LOVE you anyway.

Retreated being

I put on my running shoes
only to find they force retreat
Bluntly I discover by accident
The consistent measure of defeat
Savaged from a life’s cloak torn
Returned to earth from whence born
Finding little comfort from the scorn
Stripped of skin a soul’s been shorn
With little shelter from the storm

I share the flight of winter fowl
Bundled up beneath my cowl
Staring gray in noon time glare
Rejection of my humblest prayer
Reduced, returned, retaliated
Longing for my spirit sated
But that dream has dissipated
Was what I dreamed through joy
A beloved story of girl and boy?
Wake me up so I can breathe
Love and laughter, soothing peace

Misplaced Gate

The trees do not whisper my name in the voice of a billion stars.
The sun shadows my upturned face denying my gate
My cries of desperation, clinging to the echoing melody fall away
Dripping in autumnal colors, released from the iced earth;
A presence not present, to my dismay, but somewhere waiting to be unpacked
Unearthed from the cardboard grave where its been held hostage
By my unreasonable, childish demands, that I should not change.
The place my spirit abides is dark to me because I’ve become unplugged
I’m looking. I’m searching. I must find my outlet so my spirit can remember
So I can remember the laughter of water, the chatter of dust, my place in the Universe.

Rumble Strip

Cautionary sign

Cautionary sign

Here!

Let me strip naked, remove my facade,

so you can see inside of me

that I’m human

and not God

Here!

Let me wipe away my poker face

so you can peek beneath the mask

realize my barren

mundane task

Here!

Let me demonstrate how dying feels

be locked up without parole

be removed totally

life without a soul