Not an Option

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.

My Place

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.

If I Couldn’t Go Home

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.

A Broken Heart

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.

Guns in Church

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?

Packed Away

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.

Infield Fly

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.

Granddaddy’s Gas Station

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.