old man I see you
blue suit and bow tie
and hat placed neatly aside
cradling your coffee
an absentminded gaze
through the tall windows
and beyond
to the young passersby
in a hurry
as you once were
busily home to love
to soothe the withering day
love that you once had
but has passed
old man I see you
your eyes a fluid blue
still
wistful
locked in memory
bittersweet
vivid
that plays before you
to touch
taste
breathe
a pas de deux of passion
eclipsed by time
old man I see you
and you are not alone
the people
the tide of people
the swarm hurrying across gargantuan
sun-streamed rooms as
they rush in a glide along golden handrails
before descending through smooth marble stairwells,
the people,
some tense, and cross, and expended,
brows furrowed, forlorn with unrest
while others,
the people
who walk brightly with anticipation,
indefatigable,
their comings and goings
each a new adventure,
life not waiting to be lived
lantern raised
she yields not
to the untamed hand,
the empty heart,
the preening, the predatory,
that find the pure,
the passionate,
and the tempest that swirls about them,
to mark and groom,
their trust wrought for a singular end,
prevarications
to render truth writhing upon the
calumnies of acolytes,
the hardscrabble earth
where the courage and decency
of the many break and recede  
until wretchedly,
shamelessly,
forsaken
scales of desire tip,
time now weightier than fortune,
the more precious,
as it always has been,
gone unrecognized,
obscured by hale youth,
invaluable, ephemeral
allowing the echo of song,
the titter-laugh of loved ones,
banter of old friends,
hours with the hound turned gray
who clings to one’s hip,
silver windswept rainstorms,
ice-crested mountains,
frantic hummingbirds
suspended as still life,
the raw tickle of a running finger
along silken skin,
sin, regret, atonement,
recollections savored
of those who have left
as if brought back before one,
if only for the moment,
before recession into an ether world
and the miasma of memory and loss,
a gift for one to inhale the entirety,
and to expel it all with a ferocity
that says to those who will listen,
how I cherish thee
the park is broad,
a swath of land
with crisp playing fields,
and verdant hillsides,
and tortuous paths, and
split through the middle,
a spine of water,
and we walked those paths
and sat by the waterside,
and angled our sight
through the trees to glimpse
the skulling youth slice
through the cool water
in iridescent hulls,
and then we would up and run,
his pink tongue flopping joyously,
the sleek ebon coat a marvel
day after day, until he sickened,
and he waited patiently,
carried to riverside berth
to laze before the golden marsh grasses
and follow the osprey's search  
until the day cooled and there was
a whimper, a huff
before graying paws were lifted from earth,
chin nuzzled in appreciation,
until I walked that stone path alone,
as I do now,
as I have done for years,
and each day I wait for the
blue jays and the robins to quiet,
and the morning breeze to calm,
to hear the sounds of jostling stones,
old paw steps in tow,
and I smile at the path
that is bright again  
for I know he does not want me to walk alone
warm May morning

early cool breeze  

pock-marked bleachers

men loping lazily across

a verdant carpet  as

bright-white baseballs are

snared under ice-blue skies

and as three-year-old eyes

dart unfailingly, and

sneakers kick up and down

mid-air while tiny fingers

grip the metal chair in

full anticipation
Earth tumbles sideways, and
I lay in heavy snow.
I swallow deep breaths of cold night air.
It is painful to breathe as
I face blue-black sky.
Stars, brightest before dawn,
cluster above me, and
dance like a whirligig.
I wheeze.
I think I am breathing deeply.
I am not.
My ribs feel to bend and *****
and I clutch at my chest, move my arms.
The small exertion does not lift me up,
it does not ease the pain.
Oh, ****.
I understand, and I try to call out.
I can make no words,
only a puff of vapor that
dissipates into exposed brick.
What time is it?
I cannot make much sound,
and it is difficult to move.
I wonder when someone will see me.
The arc of the streetlight,
blocked by the maple tree.
I should have cut it down last fall.
Lost to a shade tree?
Marguerite will not wake for an hour.
She will be alright, so will the kids,
families of their own now.
What was that poem?
Third grade, no fourth.
I read it in class.
Billy Herschel hit me with an eraser
when I finished.
The wet snow was too heavy.
I see the plastic shovel
upright in the drift.
Uncle Nick went like this.
Dumb *******, I knew better.
I hear car tires rolling noisily down the street.
I lift a black glove and move my hand.
My ribs stab at me. It is too dark.
I cannot see her. She cannot see me.
I let my hand fall deeply into the snow.
The crystals make their way under my collar.
It is cold, very cold, and it feels good,
keeps me awake, as I feel very tired,
pushed mightily, deeper into the earth.
My watch. I am not wearing a watch.
I will not know what time I will die.
I think to blow puffs of air into the sky,
and I hope that someone
will see the tiny smoke signals.
I smile at the thought.
I hate to dance.
Embarrassed to dance,
embarrassed all my years,
and there is now little time.
I hope there is time.
I am sleepy.
I think of my dog, gone some twenty years.
I see his paws, his gray muzzle, and
his last three breaths.
A single sparrow finds the telephone wire.
It is dawn,
my eyes are closing,
and the dark is warm.
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