Country Music

Charley Pride on bathroom
laptop, while I shave, his voice
forlorn longing, whiskers
collect on razor’s edge, this
morning mirror apart from wife
and son. I feel for Merle Haggard,
travails, time on the road, love
found and lost, like Loretta Lynn
in Topeka, daydreaming of that
different life, away from crumpled
hamper laundry and the last
cereal bowl bits clinging to old
milk. Somewhere in Nashville
they are still singing with Jesus,
waiting for my return.

Higher Power

we rarely speak
of God that
him her force
lives in heaven
forests oceans everywhere

we pray to
be always in
good stead with
each moment where
light is ours

this karma knowing
watching to see
if we are
truly in his
image like clouds

floating peace through
sky we try
meditating while walking
the quiet path
of constant love

and one day
may we arrive
wherever there is
union with all
that ever was

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.

Our Family Dogs

Sam was short for Samurai,
a lion like Akita, let me eat
from his bowl when no one
else was looking. He killed
neighborhood cats, then
one night a car killed him.

There was Popcorn, named
by my sister, part husky
she loved to run away,
nose against screen door, then
escaped on down the road.
We’d yell Popcorn like circus
vendors, until she came back home.

Ginger was part sheltie, but
thought she was a cat,
never more happy than
sitting on our lap. She
loved us, and we loved her
back, there was no other way.

My Best Moment All Summer

My son made 100 baskets,
really quite a feat, for
he’s not a natural athlete.
He stood in the sun
and watched the rim, again
and again and again. Mostly
he missed, but that was
no matter, because he never
quit. And after many minutes
over an hour, in fact,
he drained his last bucket,
arms triumphant in the air.
I hugged him very close
my best moment all summer

House Says Goodbye

It is only a house, wood, paint, single pane glass windows,
but ten years pass and it is no longer ours, no longer

that two-story blanket that covered us in our laughter,
held our bare feet on floorboards that knew our family’s

groove, from Gangnam Style to I ain’t your mama, no I
ain’t your mama, not anymore. Sold, our Spanish

American War casa, Victorian era, master bedroom in
the San Francisco fog, where I daydreamed through

tree leaves and power lines, pondered this and that, scribbled,
loved and prayed on dark rainy nights. This place held

us in moments, just moments that always go on to the next,
the goodbye was always waiting, we left and it said hello.