Not an Option
By Leslie Noyes
Failure, under the spotlight, turned down a wrong road, dined at the bad trough, lessons learned.
Heartache, walked on the tightrope, fell into an abyss on the highway to hell. Seeking penance forevermore.
Trust, sought, but not earned, squandered in bushels, by deeds too heinous to tell. Forgiveness sought.
Grace, offered in buckets, washed in the blood of the everlasting lamb. Earnest prayers offered with hands raised in praise.
I know my place, here between the have nots and the one percenters. Aware of the inequities and the extravagances,
My heart catches at the injustices, the injuries, those who’ve not fallen through the cracks, as much as having been ground into them.
The ledge I occupy, precarious as it is, teeters on the edge of future fortunes and unseen pitfalls. I know my place.
Where would I go if I couldn’t go home? Would I find the means to travel the world, a vagabond with no tether?
Might I show up in postcards mailed from exotic destinations, wish you here, but secretly glad you stayed behind?
I’m afraid I’d live in a marginal world, on the edge of respectability, begging scraps from passing cars.
If I couldn’t go home, I would never build a new one. I lack the proper tools, but perhaps I’d find a better one.
I can point out the cracks,
The places that never quite heal
This one from Newtown
Another from a Texas church
And all those in between
Etchings on this old heart,
Dinged by each death,
Pitted by the greed of lawmakers
Broken by the callous, rote responses,
Their thoughts and prayers
Who will take this cup from me?
Who wants this scarred heart?
I’m tired of carrying the damage around
Of wounds that don’t mend
And people who don’t care.
Will we take our guns to church now?
Jesus take the wheel, but leave me my pistol
Dylan Roof opened fire in a South Carolina prayer meeting
Now more dead occupy the pews in Texas
Just wondering which firearm goes best with Psalms.
Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil,
For I am armed with a semi-automatic weapon.
No doubt lawmakers will offer meaningless thoughts and prayers
Their mantra sounding weaker by the hour
Who will answer for these deaths?
Who will offer a solution?
Once I was the new dress, swirls of dark blue on pure white cotton, crisp and suited for summer soirées.
The favorite, I found delight in being washed by hand and then pinned to the clothesline to dry under the warm sun.
I drew compliments from strangers and friends, alike, and I relaxed in the pleasure of being worn, washed, and dried,
Until the day my colors faded and the white no longer looked sharp. I was assessed and found wanting before being
Packed away and relegated to a cardboard box marked for donation. My hopes now lie in resurrection from a thrift bin.
I understand the infield fly rule, though I doubt my knowledge will ever come into play at a cocktail hour or any other
Social event. Hey, I’d say, Did you know that if there are fewer than two outs, and runners on first and second, or first,
Second, and third, and a fly ball is hit that can easily be fielded by any member of the infield, the batter is out even
If the ball is not caught? What kind of nonsense is that? My partner in conversation will ask. Exactly, I’ll say!
Furthermore, runners advance at their own risk! With age I’ve come to realize that the rule protects the team on offense,
Even though it results in one out. What genius devised the infield fly rule? Surely he deserves a statue or a drink in his honor.
Try as I might I cannot figure a way to make this rule pertinent to my life, as I swing and miss one more time.
The things she recalled
His eyes, kind smile, gentle touch,
But never his voice
With scant reminder
She remembered his cologne
She’d give anything
To hear him speak one more time
Though words might wound her
I grew up in a Fina gas station owned by my granddaddy. My days smelled of petroleum and cigars,
No wonder I’m a little on edge all of my days. When the world is combustible with the errant flick of an ash,
Everything becomes precious to a precocious five year old. Grandaddy kept candy and red fuses in a glass counter display.
I had the run of the place, but was cautioned about dashing about and around the old pumps, lest someone
Run me over. Pretty heady stuff for a little girl who only wanted to ask, “Premium or Ethyl?” as she washed grimy windshields.
My heart is all tied up in that place. Bound by diligence and the smell of Grandaddy’s Old Spice. The strength of his hugs.
The cat in question,
Snuggling, purring on my lap,
She finds her warm place
Never questions life,
Not a care in her safe world
Relaxed, yet still poised
The cat in question
A lady of advanced age
My boon companion