Fresh Hope

as I sat outside

a gentle breeze
washed over me
reminding me of

God’s peace that
is with us during
our trials on this

another difficult
day but God is
with us in our

pain and sickness
even if it seems
to never let up

faith is our relief
reminding us that
He will never leave

us nor forsake us

another light breeze
of fresh hope swirled
past me as I sat on

the patio in the late
afternoon

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 one—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 Unspeakable

It was early in the afternoon.
We closed the bedroom door
and did what we said we’d do.

My wife asked me to tell her
about what happened to me
when I was a child.

I have seldom spoken about
the unspeakable, undoable,
unthinkable, unbelievable.

All true. We walked through
the secret places of my
childhood sexual abuse.

When I was eight years old,
I lost a lifetime but I didn’t
learn about it until I was fifty.

You listened and loved me with
each word I spoke. You love me
for all that we will share and do.

What I know, all that I hoped for,
longed to do, and deeply desired
would never be the same as we

take a new road together that
rose out of the fire and ashes
of the unspeakable.