There are forgotten reasons why

There are forgotten reasons why

you didn’t do what you didn’t do,

but now you’ve only what still

never existed – Technicolor scenes

and whiskey ads, gunboats in Esquire,

the Senator before his subcommittee,

the microphone, people clinging

to his every word.

From where you watch he’s far away,

mute lips on a screen as sunlight

climbs the outer wall. Soon there’ll be

nothing left to catch it. It will unravel

in cold dark corners of space.

Ode to Willy Loman

Oh, we’ll fix the car and the shower –

the car that lurches, the shower that leaks –

and clean up the piles

of crap we don’t need.

And I’ll remember my wallet

before I bike to the station,

and my hat won’t be lost

for the twenty-third time.

But and yet still

thy will

won’t be in any of it

(or will) as trains pass

and doors close

and faces watch

the city aglow.

Poster with clouds

Cirrus, stratus,

stratocumulus –

these free shapers of sky and our thoughts

have landed to serve as an internal forum

for student affairs.

Knowing the secrets,

and having weighed the arguments,

they speak their mind and send the young,

chastened but buoyed,

on their way

Last day

She held him, not trusting him to find the chair.

“We’re family,” she said. “Like family.

You don’t remember?”

He shook his head.

“You’ve come to our house for thirty years.”

He shrugged sorry.

“I have to go with him.”

He knew him, but not his name.

And later, after the coffee, he went.

For when he was young he could go where he liked.

But now was time for where he’d rather not go.


R.I.P. Fr. Piet van der Pol S.S.S. (D. 19 February 2017).

Your granddaughter, your namesake

You were in your last days

and you’d open your eyes

and say you were tired.

We said, Sleep, and

We’re going for a walk.

I didn’t like that it was wet in the woods,

but there were acorns,

and that, she said, was what you did together –

make dolls of them, and sew.

Once she made pants. When she

thought she was, she said, I’m done,

but you said no.

You pulled stitches and fixed the seam.

You wouldn’t stop till you got it right.

Which is what you’re doing now, she said:

piecing the past and pulling tight the seam.