Pet Goldfish

i suppose everyone
had a goldfish
from the pet
store or school
fair, glistening orange
in plastic bag
captured bit of
rippling nature, and
we tried to
keep it alive
with flakes and
water changes, but
after a few
months it died
and what did
we learn? how
to understand loss
that toilet flush
goodbye, what is
life? what is
death? it meant
nothing, and everything

COVID-19 Passes The Vietnam War

and when the virus
constricted air from over
58,220 lungs, no one
came to the door
informing us of death’s
arrival, no uniformed soldier’s
solemn words to comfort
ventilator’s failure to save
lives, this war of
no bullets, no answers
to the endless quest
for vaccine’s hopeful solace

we look to blame
those who cannot contain
this invisble reaper, as
if this were one
person’s fault, as if
we could just drop
a nuke and make
it all go away
instead we walk by
black granite names, mourning
the many more, expiring
with each passing day

We All Get Wet

often the best response
is to give up
abandon all hope of
truly knowing how the
acorn becomes a tree
it just does, and
one day that barked
branched swaying nature
will topple, call it age
or disease, shifting roots
or unsteady ground, but
this too will just happen
and yet, we try so hard
to control all of life
when really, clinging
tightly is like pretending
a summer storm isn’t
made of rain, at some point
we all get wet

How Nature Works

glistening grass with morning
dew, like a spider web
pulsating, wind whipping, sticky
threads catch life, then
death, how nature works
constant miracles, colors, petals
insects submerged in nectar
pollen dust travels, floating
on bees feet, sun
greets this day with
warmth for all, moon
at night, bright dreams
silent stars, flickering light

At 80 Years Old

If I wanted, every day could be a funeral.
So simple, just put a name into the computer,

wait for the obituary to pop up. Those older guys
are gone, my coaches, teachers, even that camp

counselor from Pine Island, up in Maine, he
could hold his breath underwater for 2 minutes.

Never thought they’d all go away, but there’s
the little candle, Legacy.com warming the screen

with another smiling photo. I read all the comments,
deeply miss her, sincere condolences, with such

a heavy heart. And I feel the weight of age with my
scrolling fingers, try to remember the last time I

saw him, her. What did we talk about? Maybe I’ll
google their kids, see where they ended up.

Minutes pass and I close the laptop,
pretend they’re all still alive.

Girl Reads Civil War Poem

This poem is called Maggots,
Samantha stands in front of the

classroom with a sly smile. Her
piece inspired by historic conflict,

skips Gettysburg, Antietam, and
all the words of war. No rebel yell,

or regiments, she leaves nurse
descriptions and widow tears for

other poems to divulge. Starts
at the end, she speaks her black

beginning, maggots chewing,
spewing flesh of men without faces,

corpses all in their places for the feast.
She maintains throughout, that nature

intended such death, that it was all
meant to be. Not for North or South,

but for the legless larva to probe
darkness, with their bloody glee.