when the words don’t matter

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Sitting by the shoreline,

the water fairly calm,

a sharp breeze enough to

suggest only the time of year.

 

watching seagulls swift past

the eery history of the mast

wondering just when waters

would ever tell me a secret.

 

I could listen for hours

while the sun began to dance

along soft waves of yesterday

sounds around me airily fast.

 

the birds, their legacy staid

by waning summer’s crying lead

in the autumn of these days,

the ones reminding time away.

 

I listen to Bob Dylan, a surreal croon

speaking of wanting ways

wishing time would forever sway,

‘Blood on the Tracks’ seems to say …

 

Inside this visual macabre

Our surreal horizon rob.

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When the Shutters Close

shutters

 

We live in normal houses

in Midwestern America

we are a concentrated, suburban, legacy

long after we are gone

our worlds will be memory.

Lives have been led

along facades, frames, fades.

We need to recognize

in a word, life isn’t what it seems.

When I look at you across the avenue

I debate about what will happen

when the shutters close.

Same old story perhaps;

what if someone wondered?

How about the truth

that every night

when frustration mounts

you punch your daughter

for your own misgivings!

I noticed the other afternoon

tending your garden

she wore long sleeves in the humidity

such a sweet young smile

hides the pain that well, yeah,

when the shutters close, rage creates.

This morning in class

her monologue brought tears to my eyes

I questioned how such a beautiful woman

survived only menacing glares all night long.

And then her eyes glanced the room

she smiled a lovely elegant manner,

she talked of her mom and how she misses her.

A weep dropped a tear from her eye

that without words anymore

spoke aloud:

I am a survivor.