What I thought about today

Seeing my black boots, I thought

of how Dad put them outside

that Christmas we visited –

when his mind was going

and he draped a shroud

over my head – and my boots

were cold when I retrieved them.

And about how my uncle Mike

at a family reunion

put his arm in the photo

around the one who was missing

and said the next time might be

the last time

and it was.

And about how we’ll stand outside in a minute

watching a hearse go by,

and it will carry no one I’ve mentioned

thus far.

Appeal to the Ranger Rescue Squad

Is poetry a whipping-up

of something special, a

pulled voice

or a kind of trance?

I’ve never known what

a poem is.

My favorites sound like

nothing so much as

someone saying something


But that can’t be

enough for a poem.

The worst are about

poetry itself.

Maybe those’re

not even poems.

Maybe they’re just

a baffled boy

seeking a trail.