Joyful Interlude

At some point I stopped
listening to music. For me
it was someone else’s joy.

Someone else’s story.
Not mine. Abuse of any
kind stops the music

of your life.

My LP records sit on a
shelf. I thumb through
them from time to time.

I can’t play my music
CDs either. I don’t want
to revisit a life of abuse.

Songs stir memories
I rather not have. But I
long for the sweet and

joyful interlude that
was written only for me.

[Author’s note: FYI, there is an exception. I have a group of CDs known as my car music, e.g., The Manhattans, Huey Lewis, The Commodores, to name a few, that I listen to on and off. But they stay in the car.]

The Bird Sang

It is getting colder and
rain clouds are pressing in.

There was one bird singing;
I thought it was for me but

he stopped.

I don’t have a song today.
I long to sing a song I love.

I will sing again but not today.
The bird returned singing a
new song:

“When your breasts are full
and your hips are wide, you
will laugh and sing.”

I wondered if the bird sang
to me.

Traffic Light

It is a delightful day. The sun
and the birds are plentiful.
The bird songs exquisite!

I can’t tell one bird from the
other. So that makes me a
bird listener as I could never

be a bird watcher. Fifty-four
years ago this month I was
in Vietnam. I had to take a

color vision test. You know
the oneā€”each page has a big
circle and in each big circle

there are a bunch of small
circles. I was told that there
is a big number in each of

the big circles. I flipped
through all of them. No
numbers for me. Not a one.

I don’t know what you see,
but I do know it is different
than what I see. For the most

part, my life is devoid of color.
My life view is made up of light
and dark. Lighter or darker.

I guess I live in the shadows of
shades of gray where there is
an occasional flash of yellow or

green. A few years after we were
married we realized that we had
a color problem. She would point

to her thigh and say, “Do you see
that? See that red area. That is
where the pain is,” as she rubbed.

“Sorry, I don’t see a thing.”

The following week she’d ask me
to look in her eye, “You see that?
It really itches; you see the red.”

“Sorry, I don’t see a thing. I can’t
see red on black.”

So, I told her the same thing I am
telling you. I failed the color vision
test way back when she was five.

It was time for dinner and I couldn’t
resist, “So, you’re black? I married a
black woman? Why didn’t you tell me!”

I think she punched me in the arm.
Then laughed, “Once you’ve had black,
baby, there is no going back!”

I shook my head.

She asked, “So how do you see things?”
I answered, “My dear Mrs. Gray, I take
life one traffic light at a time.”

The Sound of the Wind

I was sitting outside in my new chair
for the first time. It was a Valentine’s
Day slash birthday gift from my
sweetheart.

I wasted as much time as possible
because I could easily sit in this
lounge chair for hours on end.

I read my Kindle on my phone which
is a different book than on my
Kindle. A book I had forgotten I was
reading.

I opened a crossword. I closed the
crossword; my mind wasn’t up to it.
I was content that death may not
be coming today.

Which made me think as I listened
to the birds, a time is coming when
I won’t hear the birds anymore or
the piercing sound of the wind.

I am holding on to a thread of faith
that says God has the power to do
all that he has promised.

I wait eagerly for what lies ahead
even when my faith is too weak to
see anything but the sound of the
wind.

Who I Was

It is a warm seventy-five for
a day in February, with a
refreshing gust of wind from
time to time.

One street over, the same
dog that barked its head off
yesterday is doing it today.

I’d guess that it was the same
train that went through with
a different engineer because

the horn blasts were new. It
was two shorts and long. Rest
and repeat. Rest and repeat.

What came next I couldn’t see.
It came and went too fast to go
take a look. The sound of a

military jet was so ear breaking
awesome, I was ready to reenlist
on the spot!

For me, twenty years in the army
flashed by with the sound of the
jet. That dog is still barking.

Daily I am faced with the reality
that I can no longer do what I
loved to do so long ago and not
so long ago.

I must be content with the things
I can do now. As I have gotten
older I rather do more, not less.

The Lord knows our limitations,
but we serve a God who shows us
his unlimited grace.

I trust God will open yet another
door I now cannot see. The dog is
tiring. I, too, may be tired.

But I do not tire of your grace or
your love for me. Age has stepped
in but my time is in your hands.

By your unending grace, I can serve
you as I am now because you are
the God who made me who I was

with the knowledge of who I was
to become.