If you were still here.I would remind you of the hot, heavy and humid June day when you were finally born-fighting the forceps that yanked you, almost against your will from the womb.You loved these sweltering days-you were born to thrive above 90 degrees, I believe. You were a heat up the grill and ice down the beer kind of guy; call everyone up and go camping at the lake kind of man. My son. My first born with almost a twin-like hold on me…Oh, I miss you. Yes, I know you have been gone already fifteen years. Yes, I have moved on-it’s just I drag your smiling spirit along for the ride. There are so many things, I would like to sit on the deck and discuss with you. The world as it is now, which is nothing like the world you left behind. Politics-I imaging we might bump heads on that one; the concept of Face Book and Instagram. I checked the freezer for Elgin sausage and fat chicken legs; I will barbecue inside because I never liked the weather this time of year. I did hear it might rain, too. I might make a chocolate cake and you would eat it all and then rub your full stomach and SMILE. I guess that is what I miss the most, my son, your smile; how the smile started in your eyes before making its way down to your mouth. That is how I remember you, how I always see you in my mind’s eye. I hope where you are there is a lake with a great place to swim, and cook for your friends and family; where the weather is to your liking and there’s a smooth spot to pitch your tent. Happy birthday, Steve.
I hold fast to my walking
stick as I leave
the beaten path to follow
my own trail
Into only partially familiar woods.
There is a part of me that
Here, within the gloom of autumn
or later, the promise of spring
Tilt back my head
Shake my mane and
Sniff the air.
I crouch beside the creek flowing here, simple and without a care.
A glimpse of a whitetail yearling
Frozen in the tangled underbrush
The soft call the cardinal sings to his mate
The reflection of us all in the stream
In this late November dawn
A holiday! Free from the office madness
still awaken early, as is my habit;
birds not yet aroused.
I put on coffee to perk and my Christmas slippers
step outside to see what this dawn will bring.
The fragrance of roses
draws me down the damp, muddy path
still wet from yesterday’s rain.
The very best roses are at the very corner
of the house
where the pathway ends
and the deck begins
When Romeo returned
after decades being away
he transplanted them from our neighbors yard
who did not care for Roses
and was pleased when I started tending them.
He offered them to us when he was moving away-
I said yes.
meant Romeo had to dig and pry them up
from their current space
repositioning them in our backyard.
He was not as overwhelmed with joy
these many years after,
a testament to his care of them
and love for me.
This morning I snip a few of the finest specimens
tucking them into four
brilliant glass vases…
just to make him smile