A Straight Up No Reason Joy Kind of Day

Sure, we got
ice cream
and chased
in the grass,
sang songs
so loud
in public,
you covered
my mouth,
but really
what it be,
is the long-
dawned, drawn
out days of
summer spent
in the company
of those who
are smaller
and seeing
things from a
low down
kind of view
that makes
every type of
same old thing
that much more
laugh-making
on a sunshine,
school’s out,
nothing left
to do but
smile and see
the sunset
kind of day.

Advertisements

5th Grade Graduation

After the memorized
speeches and signed
certificates, but before
the cake, a rocket
is launched on the black
top. Photographs

from that day
will show all of the faces

looking up, eyes shielded
from the cloud swathed
sun in a sea of repurposed
holiday dresses
and birthday button
downs. They seek

that yellow arrow
which left their world

with a whistle and a crack
and pierced the sky
at the beginning
of a long and lazy
summer, but instead
what they see

is one hundred
unexpected blackbirds

in a fast and fleeting flock,
all moving toward
that inexplicable
blue horizon
at a truly
astonishing clip.

Eleven

Hand in hand,
our breaths freeze
into the shape of laughter
and the moon
is smiling, too,

white-toothed crescent
suspends the last light
of the setting sun.
We buy magnetic bingo
to play

at the Thai place,
where we take too many mints
and wink at each other
each time we pass
the bowl. At home,

we crunch the candies
between our teeth
in a pitch dark room
to watch the sparks fly,
a trick your grandfather

left for us, you tape
blue paper
to your arms and flap
your bluebird wings
into my room,

I watch you fly,

and we are in the middle,
you and I,
not quite what we were,
nor what we will
become, and lingering
tonight,
so joyously,
so perfectly
in between.

We Write This Poem Together

The mother’s wish:
to write a poem for the daughter
as a thank you

for walks along
white hospital hallways,
days blending into night,

for the car ride here,
where each small bump
felt like an earthquake.

And the earth does tremor
a little, or at least
your understanding of it,

as all of the walls
come tumbling down
and there is nothing left

but gratitude
and
poetry,

written from parent to child
to parent to child to parent
to child until

the end of time,
an old timey flip-book,
and the dancer dances faster

as the pages fly.
The wind flips the pages.
We watch in awe.

The clock flips the pages.
We watch in gratitude,
the mothers

and the daughters,
the sons and the fathers. We write
this poem together.

Roger

My whole life I thought
that I would write a book
about you

after you died.
I knew all along
that I should have been

taking notes
during the telephone calls,
which were

how we spent
a good part
of our lifetimes together,

and no less close for that.
You knew my insides,
and I knew yours –

or at least,
I knew most.
But by the end,

we knew everything.
It is impossible
to hide the soul

when the body and the mind
begin to fade.
And there are gifts there too,

in this great peeling away.
I am,
because of your love,

your truths
and your DNA.
And the only way

to say thank you now,
is to live
this extraordinary life.