I slipped inside the cool, dark house
Slipped out of my dress and into
The shower where I slipped
On a bar of soap and sat
For many minutes as
The tears slipped
Guns killed nineteen children
And the incumbent governor
Aside from thoughts and prayers
Nothing’s been done since ten souls
Perished in Buffalo where
An 18-year-old went gunning for
Black people with hate in his heart
The devil danced
In Orlando and Sandy Hook,
Las Vegas and Charleston,
Columbine and Paducah,
But the devil doesn’t care
And the gun cult extends a hand
For yet another dance.
I stood in a field
Surrounded by children.
Will you mentor me?
I hemmed and hawed
Scratched my head,
But know I don’t take this lightly.
We drove to a school
Children in plaid skirts and narrow ties
This is my mentor,
The child said.
She took my hand and we walked
Across sports fields.
We sat at narrow desks.
I thought to ask her name.
Didn’t you know already?
It’s your name, too.
A cat wound our way
Demanded a petting.
The girl smiled.
I’ve named her after us.
That first touch, first kiss
First I love you
Somewhere in the archives
Of my soul.
And surely that was magic
Just as the weight of a
Newborn baby in my arms
And sometimes I think
To myself, nobody else,
But you, I suppose
That it’d be a real shame
If all my magic has played out,
Gone to someone younger;
Someone who won’t realize what was afoot
Until wrinkles line their face and
Maybe then it’s too late.
But I tell myself, and you,
That is, those of you who understand,
Our days of magic are now
In the sunsets and warm embraces
Of a gentle love with whom
We’ve grown old.
Have you seen, though, the video of the Ukrainian woman?
The one who confronts a Russian solder?
She tells him to put flower seeds,
Sunflower seeds, to be specific,
In his pockets so when he dies
On Ukrainian soil
Some good will be left
So his comrades will know
Where he fell.
The national flower of Ukraine.
Peace, people. Please.
James Taylor knew, didn’t he, the pain of
Thinking he’d have one more chance
To hold a hand
To say the words and hear theirs in return
To savor their embrace
Only to be denied these comforts
Oh, I always thought that I’d see them
One more time again.
You always think you have another day,
Another moment to say I love you,
To hold the hand that
To sing one
But really, all you have is now.
And just like that, now
Has also slipped
World peace, or at least a reasonable
An end to poverty and love enough to
Hands extended in kindness, hearts warmed
Food and drink to nourish every single
Child on earth.
A home for every stray, a warm place to
Shelter from the cold.
Comfort and joy.
Comfort and joy.
If I tell you I saw Rembrandt this morning, his face staring up at me from my bathroom rug, of all places, would you think me insane or would you direct me to the proper authorities?
Had it been the Virgin Mary I’d seen, I’d know exactly who to contact. Alas, it’s a long-dead Dutch painter.
On second thought, it might not be Rembrandt at all, but instead the steely-eyed conquistador whose likeness graced the walls of my childhood home during one of Mom’s theme periods of decorating.
Although, the image bears a striking resemblance to a hat-wearing woman from a famous painting, the title of which escapes my mind, except the visage on my bath mat clearly has a mustache, and the lady in the painting does not.
But, wait. It’s none of the above.
The closer I get the more I realize it’s likely Sigmund Freud come to call. Oh, the irony.