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the future was a threat

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (12)

in school we were always on the move

field trips to museums to math class

with Mr. Buesing to middle school

to high school to college the future

was a threat brandished like a whip

by degrees our world turned

then it stopped and I stumbled

and found myself here in the mud

like a body dropped from the door

of a passing car

(January 18, 2020)

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Dispersion

When we scattered mother,

the ash swirled about me

like a cape. I breathed her

in, then spit out what 

I could into the winter grass.

Metaphor’s bitter aftertaste

lingered between my teeth

for years. Now, left with

a handful of ash to toss

to the wind, I resist this

final gesture, and begin

again. Life’s easy without

thought, or a nearby pattern

to hold one together, despite

death’s constant push to contain 

the living who remain.

(December 12, 2019)

Patchwork

I find a narrative,

as I age, hard

to patch together.

I cannot mend

all that I have

rendered, all

I have misplaced

in anger, and neglect.

I have no prologue

to explain succinctly

each switchback

I have turned along.

It’s easier to see

a moment without a past;

easier to mind the flower

as a petal first falls.

What scars I have

are well hid; no

stars to weave

a pattern in the sky.

(July 31, 2019)