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The Agèd Hands of Time have reached yet another
toll of the bell.

12 years have passed since I’ve last seen her in this life.
Distance and sickness in our being had robbed us both
of streams of time which passed like a long cold winter
into her death. These lost memories often create over-
exposed and superimposed photo negatives of imaginary
frames of time I desperately imprint to hold tightly in my
heart and mind.

But I still hold tightly in memory to her soft voice on the
phone and pictures of split second frames of physical
time my sister would send me. Many people don’t even
have that.

In this life she loved to mother her three grown children
and flower garden as near as she could to the end. It was
in her nature to nurture her resilient perennial children
and to help make the move easier for her annual foster  
children from a confined existence to a deep soft warm
bed of comfort.

Stamped on my mind is not the faded and worn, bruised
and torn image of her outward shell in the Trauma
Center at age 88, but the indelible inner and outward
image at age 38: a lovely young mama who tucked her
little boy in bed every night with a song and a prayer.
The little boy that is still alive in this man.

The Agèd Hands of Time have reached yet another
toll of the bell.

--Daniel Irwin Tucker
My poem, The Agèd Hands of Time, posted two days ago, works in concert with this poem which I wrote one year ago today.
She followed the stars
She came bearing gifts
One wise woman
One satchel of hello
Chocolate orange bars
Stories of cigars
Peeled away my innocence
Burnt initials on my arms
She packed a paintbrush
And every day
she painted a smile on my face
But my smile became abstract
And at the end of our daze
She was the harshest of her critics
A satchel of goodies
became a suitcase
And hello became goodbye
I'll never forget you
One need only look to the four winds
to find four frowns;
eight sad eyes
straining to see
through stained glass tears.
The man said "I die daily" but
he didn't have a constant stream of
status updates
to maintain.
I define myself daily.
Being special has
thus far
not protected me from
the unbearable weight
of today.
All of the analog cigarettes and
old fashioned daydreams
in the world
cannot save me now.
If I'm not seen
am I really here?
Heavy hearts and weary heads
reside respectively in the chests and on the necks
of everyone I encounter.
The gas station attendant
feels empty and
is bereft of a sense of irony.
The world ends
not with bang OR whimper,
with a deep and baleful sigh...
with a deep and baleful sigh...
with a deep and baleful...
I know of a man who sells flowers-
cut with a sharp knife
they do not live too long, after that.
Spread thin
as the edges of
sleep...only to
weigh in on two
feet defying dream
with dream.
Curtain upon curtain
pulled aside...keen
to that warbling white,
absolute pitch.
A river is aware
of its course...
wise to the ways
of water.
~Jai Ma~
A guy and his gal were abed,
when she looked over at him and said,
"The way your ***** is bent
is my only lament."
So sideways they did it instead.
© 2012  J.J.W. Coyle
I guess every family has to have a black sheep, and in mine, it might as well be me.
With eight younger siblings, following like ducks in a row...
Getting pregnant and married at 22 was the worst thing I could have done, at least according to my mom.
She would have rather I got an abortion, or been a single mother, than would she have chose my marriage.
I guess love doesn't have a thing to do with it, because that's not a path she ever took.
I chose my own way, to do what was best for my family, and because it wasn't her way it was wrong.
I guess, if choosing my own path makes me bad, I have painted myself black, neck to belly, hips to toes.
And if God forbid my siblings cross her, I will always be the worst because I was the first.
So as far as black sheep go...

Bah bah black sheep, have you any wool?
We’ll shield your eyes and make you a fool
There was an Old Person whose habits,
Induced him to feed upon rabbits;
When he'd eaten eighteen,
He turned perfectly green,
Upon which he relinquished those habits.
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