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,
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.
old and new passions
collide only to be met
by the joys we share
how sweet is her love
as I change and grow how sweet
is her loving touch
when you hold my hand
every clock in the world stops
for you touch my soul
it was an unseasonably
warm day until a
much like your love that
has sweetly penetrated
natural or otherwise
melting the secret snow
around my heart
our love defies age as it
is not bound by time
since it has neither
age nor time
a spider cast its web from
the tree like a net floating
on the air
it stuck to the fence
some on the pole and
some on the shed
a single strand seemed to
rappel silently from the
fence to the ground
the two sisters bonded
through singing inside
unaware that the spider
was climbing back up to
fence singing of triumph
a familiar spider song
it happened quickly
I sneezed like my father more
like him than I like
I put the suitcase I borrowed from
my mother in the trunk and got in
My father drove and smoked. And
smoked some more. He is usually
lecturing nonstop by now. I cracked
the window open to get some air
then closed it again. His visible
nervousness made me even more
nervous. He started talking. After
each cigarette, he’d open the window
just enough to flick it outside then
close the window without interrupting
his monologue. He never wanted to
hear anything I had to say, so I
listened to his World War II Army
stories again about his basic training
in Burlington. No post there now.
I think he was trying to give me advice.
He pulled up to the front of the AFEES
building in Newark. As I got the small
vinyl suitcase out of the trunk he asked
me to please write. We sort of hugged.
I started up the steps as he drove off.
Seems like just the other day. That trip
to Newark ended with a late-night bus
ride to Ft. Dix for basic training.
It was fifty-five years ago yesterday that
I enlisted in the Army. Thank you, my God,
for your protection and care. You are my
refuge and strength. You alone are God.
The rest is ancient history.
words run through my head
so many words left unsaid
the past can’t talk back