A Visit

darkness and strong winds
preceded the storm as

the trees turned into dark
silhouettes and the

temperature dropped

debris flew off the roofs of
houses nevertheless the

rain held back but not for long

as I remembered a piece of
my childhood about thunder

who told us that thunder is

the sound of Rip Van Winkle and
his men playing ninepins in the
clouds above the Catskills

if my father told us I wouldn’t
believe him and if I laughed
I didn’t know why

I know now

probably nervous to death
with fear constant fear

my hope for them is a brief
visit and speedy return to
the Catskills we visited

a visit
I can no longer remember

from a childhood I rather
not remember

Rip excluded

Just This Once

when life throws
you a curve ball
when you least

expect it

that is when the
coach puts you
in to bat

he spits then
looks you
straight in

the eye
just get on base
son I’ll do the

rest

you nod and in
your mind you
are on deck

fighting for
your life in a
game you’ve

never won

still you want
to belt it out
over the fence

or out of the
park just this
once

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

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.]

Was Me

In my mind, that place where fantasy
and I meet, I watched wave after wave
crash on the shore. I saw heartache

after heartache wash away the lines
in the sand. You can’t cross a line if
it isn’t there, can you?

I looked up at the dunes. I saw a big
woman waving to me. “Come on!” she
waved with one hand while the other

kept a large floppy sun hat on her
head. On the beach the sand was hot
in the midday sun and the water was

cold but there was always wind on
the dunes. Her light sundress blew
against her side and back.

I started to walk up the steep path
from the beach to the dunes. I lost
sight of her where the path zigzagged

as I neared the place where she stood.
When I got to the top, it became clear
that the woman was me.

As I laughed and sighed, I looked at
the beach. I saw a little boy playing
alone in the sand. He looked up.

There was something about him that
said he always plays alone. As I
waved, “Come on!” I knew that the

skinny tanned little boy was me.