Having been so careful to
follow the connections
and trace the web
to its center,
the question sticking
to my finger tip,
in the end, holds no
answer I need to know.
Even my son called me “Coach” when we were on the field. I suppose it was easier for both of us. I could correct, teach, and praise with the roles defined and accepted. He could play, develop, and be part of the team. Player and Coach. We were on the same team, but with clearly different responsibilities.
I was still Dad on the way to the game and the ride home. Talking about video games, the weekend plans, and school.
Coaching is now over for me in the sense it was for tee-ball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, basketball, lacrosse, and football. My office at home is decorated by plaques and photos, signed by my players and fellow coaches. With my kids moving into upper school, the rec league years are in the past. And I did not miss out of them. I am thankful.
Two ticks, so far,
in a forest of black fur,
still hungry, searching,
and not yet settled
into his skin.
Exhausted, he lets me comb
through his mass, a massage he thinks,
tongue a slab of deli ham,
my dog smiles with his eyes
and ears; surely this must be his
He swims through a bowl
of water, everywhere spashing,
then gobbles up his kibble,
perhaps thinking between breaths
that this day wasn’t his typical
Hills, mud, rocks and up, up, up.
More likely, he is thinking,
now that the air is just between
cool and warm and full of
critter scents and bird songs,
“Finally!” and “More!”
Words. Too many. Where were the words, the right ones, when they were being called back to the yard? Hiding in the treetops or under the foundation walls?
It was quicker to swallow the words that came, but not easier, and assuredly not satisfying. Or empty them out over everything.
They were knives to slice and stab; spoons to dig, overturn, and mix. So much cutlery, clanging.
Except … sometimes.
Sometimes they were right for a moment when the right words were needed. Unrehearsed, freed expressions finding escape from webs.
In those times, the right words held power to heal, to explore.
And when the words left, so did their power, only much more slowly and a few laps behind. They now linger at the edges, but as tired memories, lucky and leaden both. The rants, arguments, and rehashings are now reduced to what they always were: mere distractions from what was and is real.
But the words, their potential…oh. And, I have the luxury of keeping the ones I need, dare say, want.
The right words still taste of sweet poetry and play melodies in my ears, occasionally harmonies; these words I deserve to keep dear, even though that is the only choice available.
I can read minds.
This is no carnival trick.
My veins run with
Enough gypsy blood to
Remember your thoughts.
That’s how it works.
I’ll latently feel your
Heartbeat, your rose water lips,
And your memories as if
I am vital with them.
I will become full of you.
I will mumble your words,
Know every truth and fabrication,
And I will slip, lose my hold,
Return to now, to me,
I will be different.
or persistent weather,
or mental gravity,
or cosmetic makeover,
or attic clearing,
or season turning,
Door, window, map?
The whirlwind wouldn’t relent, so I swallowed that twister whole,
And as twisted muscles were wrung out,
spun dry, and stretched on the fence,
my spine split down the middle,
shot down each leg, and out my heels.
My teeth caromed off one another,
until I spit a fountain of polished marbles.
Fingers pretzeled, and toes folded back
to touch my shins, when my ribs collapsed like a waterfall,
Popping my lungs, freeing the tornado,
which threw up stories of dust and detritus
on its way home