Comes a time

Cabrini

He came to me hang-dog,

sat down on the porch

of the little cabin I had.

Was there anything for

the misty trail and blank diffusion,

the locked-out midlife

and dry, throat-clearing

apology for not having done

– what?

He didn’t even know,

only that it was bad.

And what did I have

to offer? Nothing but

my own head hung,

the cracked and weathered grain

of the planks under my feet,

and the assumption that I wouldn’t

be in his shoes

twenty years hence.

Blue blood

She had, surprisingly, not

the perfect flaw

of a few fine lines –

a hairline crack

in Delftware –

but that more pronounced blemish,

a varicose vein.

Or, as one once put it,

a very-close vein,

very close to you and me.