The Real Sun


Suns rays through the forest by Steve Slate on Flickr

At dinner Tati asks “Mom,
When will we get to see the REAL sun?”
And I have to clarify her meaning, and she is
Careful to explain for my slow brain
Not that plain orange ball floating
Up in the sky but the
REAL sun, with its long-reaching
Arms that stretch out, the
Yellow one with spikes that
Colors all the storybooks and is the
Truth. And I tell her the answer
I’ve gotten better at these
Years, my cotton ball “I’m not sure,
Honey” that cushions my
Shock and surprise over and
Over again. I’m driving down the
Road wearing my hands-free device,
Feeling morose and cornered and wail:
“Mom, why do we live to break our
Hearts over and over again? Why not
Just listen to our parents when they
Tell us what is good for us?” and Mom
Takes another audible drag on her
Cigarette and breathes out an
“I’m not sure,
Honey.” … Read on…The Real Sun

Starving

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons and Feed My Starving Children

I am hungry, but I’ve noticed this:
I’m not starving. I haven’t had to
Eat grass or dirt today or
Give the last bit of
Rice I have to my child which I’ve
Carried on a 10 mile walk from my
Hut to the malnutrition ward
Of Kathmandu Hospital.

All the hyberbole in the
World won’t stop the poorest souls in
Narrow and narrowing lives from failing to
Be yet more invisible. I don’t
Need a drink. I am confused
Again by words and their
Meaning. All the
Misstatement in the world won’t
Fill an empty well. … Read on…Starving

Three Girls

[caption id="attachment_367" align="aligncenter" width="417"]Three Sisters - Near Canmore, AB Faith Hope Charity[/caption]

Our girls are not
Bedrock and limestone.
Take them to the dance and
Pump them full of absinth and
They are yours. But all those
Bruises rush downhill in
An avalanche of destruction,
Coach.
Little man, you are
Pummeling your own
Little girl, your own
Little princess at her
Fifth birthday in the
Bathroom with your hand over
Her mouth saying shhh shhh
Don’t tell. Apologize and
Wallow in your regret; don’t
Worry little man. Another
Misguided sister will bring her
Charlied up compassion to
Bear and around and down again
The story will go until
Your own little man
In short pants and
A mantle of excuses
Centuries-long and heavy
Slams himself inside another
Unconscious
America’s Next Top Victim, cuz
The girl won’t go
Easy but the
Judge will.

Read on…Three Girls

My Father-in-Law’s Dishes


I am in a kitchen in Ontario
And the house is packed in
With family and around with
Snow, and even more so by
Farmland and emptiness. It’s
March, my mother-in-law’s birthday
A day we’ve made as a holiday
Because it makes sense to
Celebrate in the middle of
Winter in the middle of the
School year so that all can
Come without interruptions to
Holier days.

And we eat turkey around the
Pool table, with all the
Chairs assembling from the
Scattered bedrooms in this
Rambling affair of a house and
My brothers-in-law Duane and
Greg have puzzled together the
Plywood cover for the table that
Duane built for us to eat on and which
He’ll leave there for
The Duration because,
I’ve noticed, it bothers him how my
Son bangs the balls around.

And we demolish the meal that took Henry
Days to prepare, we demolish it in
20 minutes, which is less time than it took
To make the gravy.
And the kids want to leave the table,
But I don’t let them. They fidget.
I recognize the twitchiness in my
Own memory, eating around the
Brown card table in Granny’s
Icy basement.

Karen and I clear the dishes,
And there’s the scraping into
Compost, and rinsing into
Sink strainer. I prefer my
Garbage disposal at home, but I
Can work with this system.
My father-in-law nibbles on bits
As he packs up the food. There is
Turkey carcass everywhere.

I move the dirties from one, and then
Another area of counter and wipe them clean.
Now a dry towel down here, for the wet dishes, and
Another on my shoulder. And one more, for
Colin to join me.
That counter is dry and no, please,
No more dirty dishes there. I wipe it down again.

The hot water
Fills the sink
And the soap.
I begin with the
Least dirty plates,
Front and back.

By the time I get to the pots and the pan I am really very
Tired and the water is sludge and I thought perhaps I could
Make it on one sink this time but I didn’t so I
Let it all out, the filth,
And rinse the porcelain sides with my hands. Bang the
Basket into the trash.
More hot water.
The leftovers are stored in plastic.
The twins are sitting on Duane.
A dog rushes down the hall after a ball.

The sink fills again and
I keep going on,
Washing my
Father-in-law’s dishes. … Read on…My Father-in-Law’s Dishes

The Wind Still Blows

Good morning, again.
I’m still breathing. I’m still
Yours and still I’m unfixed
This Thursday in the middle of
The dregs of winter. Occasionally it
Occurs to me to believe that
This will be the best we get
And that seems awful, and then
Occasionally, after a night
Like last night when
Everything was exactly the
Same as the night before and the
Night before last, except that
The wind still blows this morning
Hard and mean and off the
Sound, I find myself in the
Tunnel pushed from behind and
Then I feel the momentum. … Read on…The Wind Still Blows

Area Attractions


Google can you spare me a
A chance encounter with
Life? I keep wandering around
Your innards, picking at
Scabs and chewing on old
Gum stuck under old
Search results somehow unable to
Recall what I came here for in the
First place. And, also, no thank you
Bing.

Once I used a thing called a
Guide, which was a book, written by
A person who’d put foot into
Cow shit at a summer fair and
Ate stale sandwiches from a
Museum cafe. And converted then condensed those
Memories into hard-cold paragraphs of nothing and
Symbols you’d flip a key to read.
So what’s the diff, google user? Shouldn’t I just
Succumb to your 4 stars?

Decide, my distant youth calls to me,
The pack getting heavy on her back.
But I have wandered off into
Webbed inertia. What area attractions appeal
To me I cannot say. I can only hear the
Noise of newsless news, the screech of
Baseless fears, and
A death rattle inside
Perfect tasting love minutes
Wasting away. … Read on…Area Attractions