Scapegoat

They are everywhere.

They won’t go back in.

All this squish and wiggle…

I grab one, and three escape.

They cannot be swept, and now I must hide this ruined broom.

 

I would let it all go,

except for the others who will blame me.

They will frown upon me.

Even in my confidence, they will hold their scorn,

but roll their eyes to each other when I look away.

They will complain about the mess, the slime,

the sound of stickiness.

 

I did something very natural;

the blame should not be at my feet, glistening as they are, with shiny trails.

The fault is his who came before me.

 

Who in their right mind would put worms in a can?

 

Redemption

ticktock

sounds like the End

or Redemption,

maybe they are the same thing

ticktock

I am the mouse running . . . nowhere

marking the calendar, scheduling bloodwork, MRIs, lumbar punctures, chemo,

crossing off these days

longing for The Day.

 

I have my Son here whom I cherish,

Together, we make a doctrine of our present, amputated life

with music and new friends.

We make happy in the moment

but sorrow nudges our periphery,

stretching to a hazy horizon,

a destination where I hope to find

the Father, another Son, a red-haired Daughter, a brown-eyed Daughter.

 

So far away

yet close

sorrow and hope entwined.

You are my bones, breath and blood.  I spill You from my pen

onto my little notebook

while I sit in waiting rooms.

I talk to You in the shower, driving to the store, taking out trash.

All my Words, spoken and written to You, for You, about You.

Perhaps I try to speak You into being

here with me.

 

Your Absence is as real to me

as the person standing beside me in this borrowed kitchen

while I stir the cabbage.

 

Perhaps I hear Your Absence louder

than Your Presence  —

I hope not.

I hope my ears hear

and my eyes see You

clear and subtle

when You share Your heart,

tell me Your story,

show me Your beetle,

play Your song.

 

ticktock

Did you know Time is elastic?

It stretched long these last months,

each moment anorexic without

You

and You

and You

and You.

I want to snap Time back to

our Together in a wooded Eden on the hill.

ticktock

Instead, I wait

ticktock

I wait for our Restored Home on the horizon

while I use my heart, hands and words to redeem now.

A son to his father

POSTED BY: Sidney the Third, in respsonse to A father to his son

 

As long as I have lived, there have always been three,

The great old father, his son, and then me.

And now that the father has moved along

we are apart,

You there, me here,

both a bit confused, both searching

 

I have learned from you what you learned from him,

My two greatest examples to follow – to become a greater man

To care for others over oneself,

To serve, rather than be served,

 

I have watched and learned practical skills –

Beware that innocent-looking capacitor,  or

Don’t bend the pipe too much, it will break

And make sure you weight your hay bales with children

So they don’t roll

 

You are a Protector – teaching, but sheltering

To make sure I did not fall too hard, too far,

Always ready to lift, to help,

To share the burden

To lift what I could not

 

You have prepared me for all that you could,

Yet we feel lost – who could have prepared for this?

What skills could you teach?

What weight could you lift?

 

I know the words you long to speak,

“It’s OK, son.  Don’t worry.  I’ve got this one.”

But you cannot.

 

I have the shovel, and you cannot reach it,

But its OK, Dad.  Don’t worry.  I’ve got this one.

Your part in this battle is done.

 

I can wield the shovel because you showed me how,

You made me work,

Made my hands and arms strong.

 

I can lift this weight that you cannot,

And climb this mountain that you must go around.

But only because of you.

 

You have done your job.

 

I am ready.  I can do it.

 

I love you, Dad.

Crudity

From Memphis with Love . . .

 

20160705_102220

Crude is the word, is the word, is the word

“It’s got groove, it’s got meaning.”

Last night, we sat side by side

eating dried mango slices

watching John Travolta dance

in that way only he can.

I have waited for the day

when you would be old enough

to test,

wondering if you would get it,

if you would see the world the way I do.

If you would walk that subtle line

where crudity would sometimes make you laugh

because laughing at our flaws lightens

the burden, strengthens us to be better people.

And other times, if crudity would disappoint you,

even as you tried to understand it and let it point you

towards a better way.

As we watched the story unfold,

I listened to your laugh, heard your critiques

and watched you parse the beauty and

ugliness,

your recognition of Heaven and smut bound in our DNA.

 

Morning Routine

Too early for the sun

Your lips sprinkle my cheek and jaw

Whispered word penetrates sleep —

“I look upon you with great favor.”

A groggy mental eye roll, yet

my heart lifts, reaching toward

but my grasp is frail.

Grace slips away as you slip out the door.

I turn over, curling up

under blankets,

searching my darkness.

Your words play hide-and-seek,

until I fully awaken and remember,

my whole self wraps tightly around

your benediction, holding me together.

See, I do hear you sometimes.

Even when you don’t make sense.

Even when I find you hard to believe.

I get up, wondering what I will

say today.

 

 

 

Almost, not yet

My eldest son

16 years and 9 months old

you ask if I have my cell phone as I

rush to the door

“Of course.  I would not leave my children home alone with

no way to reach me”

My hand secretly searches my bag and finds my deVICE.

You smile smug.

“Or maybe, mom, you have a responsible son who charges your phone and puts it in your pocketbook”

You lean your cheek down, down into my kiss-giving range.

 

Yesterday, you inspected my truck before a trip,

testing the engine light — thoughtful.

I have raised you and trained you

Perhaps you are ready for release.

 

Then I remember opening a kitchen drawer

and finding a block of cheddar cheese

beside the potato masher and ice cream scoop

while you stand at the counter,

a rectangle of cheese on its way to your mouth.

 

And I remember last week,

your little sister met me at the door,

serious face, big eyes, head tipped to side

revealing a bruise under her jaw

marked by your big clumsy foot.

It was a fun wrestling match until

it was not fun anymore.

 

Maybe you are not quite ready after all.

I sigh

In Relief.

A night full and golden

My girl came home late,

long blonde hair snarled with sticks and leaves.

Brown smudges around her lips

clue to the hot chocolate she drank

in the cold dark,

waiting with her Daddy

for the travelers to Bethlehem,

so he could prophesy while she

pretended to be a log by their campfire.

No one saw her, and she was content

with invisibility.

Because she was with Him.

And that was enough.

I take the brush in hand,  fulfilling my role

and restore the tangled skeins.