Please Don’t Go

If you died today, you’d never see
a butterfly, a great oak tree,
a silly smile, a scary clown,
a neon night out on the town,
a fuzzy kitten – hear it rawr!,
a sunny day, a sandy shore,
a shiny car, a puffy cloud,
a baby bird, a fevered crowd,
a moonlit night, a cleansing rain,
an outstretched hand that feels your pain,
a blade of grass, a ladybug,
a castle, an approaching hug,
an orangey-glow from early morn,
a cup of coffee, nice and warm,
a great old book, with dust to spare,
that has a great old tale to share,
a flip, a flop, a bright new top,
a special at your favorite shop,
a new guitar that lends a song,
that you’ve been writing all along,
a brand new fine point ballpoint pen,
a giggly kid, a random friend,
a street of lights that leads you home,
where all is safe and all is sound…
a rainbow, white snow, flying kite,
a scary film, a show of might,
the beaming joy of happenstance,
when rescued dogs have found a chance,
a lucent moon that bathes the sea –
and me.



Angel in white
Given up with no fight
She closes her eyes and she waits
Hell, here on Earth
Before her full force
She closes her eyes and she prays

For a moment her God
Offers meager reprieve
As the rocks pass her head to the ground
But the first one connects
With the force of intent
And the fear is so crippling now

A mother in love
With her family and sons
Suspected of nothingness, here
Now exposed from the waist
Bound by shackles and hate
And the staggering, physical fear

Through a curtain of red
She can see she’s condemned
By a heart in decay, born of lust
And the tears battle blood
As the darkness becomes
Just an angel, just an innocence – crushed.


It’s a different kind of black
You swear you’re seeing shapes in mist
But surely this is manifest
Of all that you resist

It’s a different kind of blue
(When you are) feeling like you’ve lost
Or maybe you’re just lost
But surely there’s a cost

It’s a different kind of voice
When everybody gets you down
By trying to revive you
When they see you skipping town

But it’s a different kind of lost
When you are outside looking in
And pure intentions can’t relate
To the grey you’re drowning in

It’s a muted — boom… boom… boom…
A sheltered, transient wave
You have to listen closely, but
You’ll feel it miles away

And it never really leaves you
It’s the whited-noise-covered thoughts
That sometimes soothe your very soul
But sometimes give you knots

And management is government is life is redirection…
But take as gospel, friend
That life, itself, is resurrection


“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” ― Gwendolyn Brooks


I passed you in the hallway and I heard your heavy sigh
It echoed in my soul, and so I stopped – to ease your mind
I told you how I loved you… “Everything will be okay”
Well, I guess that’s how I wish it went today

I woke to hear the tremor in the early waking hours
It frightened me, but this time I did more than hide and cower
I rushed you with a hug and held on ’til you hugged me back
I wish that I could say that that’s what happened

I told you funny stories and you laughed until you cried
We took a walk and played some catch, we even rode our bikes
You told me of your future plans and thanked me for advice
At least, that’s what I played… inside my mind.

I don’t know where you’re going, and I don’t know where you’ve been
I don’t know who you think you are, I don’t know what you’ve seen
I don’t know how to reach you and I don’t know what to do
But I love you …hope someday you’ll love me, too.

It’s Not Your Rain

It’s raining,
But it’s not your rain
Your hues in blues reduced to grey
The sunshine hides beneath the clouds
There’s nothing brilliant now

It’s living,
But it’s not your life
My choices, maybe… not as right
My schedule offers no routine
There’s barely time to breathe

I miss the days of “safe and sound”
…the little things that made you proud
I miss the house of ghosts and love and YOU
I miss you so, so much

I miss the days of trees and grass
And picking berries from your patch
And hanging out with Altman’s cows
It seems so precious now

If I could offer anything
To Tristan, as he turns fifteen
It would be you – for just one day
… a “still” I cannot recreate

I wonder if he’ll ever grow
To flourish from within the glow
Of someone so divine as you
I pray to see it true

Alas, you dance with God and friends
And we’ll be here… we’ll make amends
But sometimes I just can’t forget
How very much I miss you.

Letters to Tristan: The Day We Met

It was a sunshine-y Friday on the day you and I were “formally introduced”. It was warm and dry, which is pretty much the standard in Las Vegas. I was in panic mode. I went to the bathroom and discovered blood… lots of blood. “This can’t be normal for someone who is pregnant”, I thought. “I am having a miscarriage. I know it. How can I be having a miscarriage so late in my pregnancy? I couldn’t bear to lose you again. I have to… I have… Ok… I have to get it together. Deeeeee!”.

My good friend and long-time roommate, Dee, did a .05-second change in the Superman-Phone-Booth and had me seat-belted into the car by minute two. She was well prepared for this day, and I was glad she was, because I was not. She drove as fast as her little blue Honda would let her go, and I was nervously impressed with her car-chase-scene-worthy approach to the Emergency Room entrance doors. I waddled up to the check-in counter; face full of tears, and tried to offer an explanation. Dee came in moments later and wasted no time in taking control of the scene. She put her hand around my shoulder and gave me a little squeeze. “I’ll take care of this, honey. You sit down and try to relax”. I was thankful to have a friend like Dee. She had a wonderful way of “mothering” you without being annoying.

I scanned the room for an open seat, but they were few. I settled on a nice, cozy corner – great for hiding. I wanted to hide. I must have looked a mess. I couldn’t help but wonder what sorts of strangeness must be bouncing around in the heads of the moms and dads who have been waiting for hours to have their sniffling children evaluated. I even worried what Charlie would be thinking if here were here. Charlie was a regular at another hospital in town. He was homeless. He smelled horribly. You could never understand what he was saying when he spoke to you because his sentences sounded like one long word sprinkled with strange, guttural noises. That was Charlie, and I wondered what HE would think of ME. I know, I know… but that’s what I do. I take some getting used to.

I felt as if I was wearing a spotlight as I excused my way through knees, over-sized purses and children. Normally, I would feel downright silly being wheeled around like a helpless lump, but today I was relieved to see the nurse headed toward me, wheelchair-in-hand. She helped me into the chair with more delicacy than I felt necessary, and we were on our way. She told me not to worry. She said we would get this all worked out, together. I believed her, and it made me feel better. Before long, I was in a nice firm bed in a nice chilly room, chewing my nails as I made mental rhythms from the surrounding medley of coughing and crying and cart-rolling. At this point, it was hard to choose which was more important; chewing my fingers or using them to hold closed the crispy paper exposing my behind. I tried to manage both at once. The nurse arrived and asked me to lay back and put my feet in the dreaded stirrups. I made a solid attempt to hold back the rapids, slowly overtaking the space where my eyes were supposed to live, as my mind drifted off into the land of worst-case scenarios. But as quickly as I left Earth, I was startled back to it with a stern “Helllloooooooo, Honey!”, (condescending sigh), “You’re dilated to five centimeters. You’re having a baby.”.

“A baby. I’m having a baby. Ohmygosh! I’M HAVING A BABY!”

The next few hours were a bit of a blur. I remember the epidural hitting a nerve that felt like it made my leg jolt. I remember the rigidity of the pain and the “peer pressure” from the nurses commanding me to “Push!”, “Breathe!”, “Sit up!”, “Sit down!” and “Grab this bar and squat!”. (It reminded me of the time I attended that Catholic Church session, with all of the orders being tossed about.) I remember being scolded by the doctor because my jelly legs wouldn’t stay in position. This would be due to that little epidural mishap from earlier that apparently affected my legs, and not my belly – which was really angry with me right now. I remember threatening the aforementioned Doctor with; “If you don’t get that medicine man back in here, I’m not pushing anymore!”; to which she replied; “OK, don’t.” – and she walked out the door. I didn’t see her again that day, but I didn’t care. I saw him.

He is Tristan. Tristan; one of thirty-eight Knights of the Round Table who was not only a great fighter, but a skilled musician who possessed a beautiful singing voice. My Tristan was a Knight. He rescued me from the self-serving, emotionless, irresponsible me I was up until the very moment of him. And look at him! Has there ever been something so beautiful? I made him. I did this. I’m not even sure I deserve him, but here he is – getting ready to celebrate his tenth birth-minute. Already, we have been through quite a lot together – a death scare, a planned adoption and an unfortunate disappearing-dad trick. But the Maker had his own plans for us and now…

Now here you are – in my arms, beneath my tears… and as close to my beating heart as I can possibly nestle you. I find it difficult not to touch you, to smother you. I’ve never had anything like you before. You are more beautiful than all of the flowers, sunsets, puppies and glasses of fresh iced-tea in the world. You are perfect. How did I get so lucky?

Hey, Grandpa

You tapped the seat beside you as I walked up through the aisle
A special reservation on your day
Your bass guitar seemed giant, resting there across your lap
I beamed inside as you began to play

You sat me on your knee and asked me what I would become
I think I said “a vet”, and you just smiled
“It sure makes perfect sense”, you said, then gave a little squeeze
And we maneuvered puzzles for a while

You scratched his reddish fur and dodged his kisses, as I cried
You told me not to ask again today
But he sure loved you, Grandpa, and the tables were reversed
The day we set the cross to mark his grave

I tapped the seat beside me as you squeezed into the “Stang”
Destination: Ice Cream – you and me
You shook your head and chuckled as I put the black top down
I beamed inside as you reclined your seat

I took your hand so gently and I asked you how you feel
You gave a little groan, and I just smiled
I thought of adding color to your anaesthetic room
And we maneuvered silence, for a while

I ran my fingers through your hair, and kissed you one more time
I promised not to cry again today
But I knew you were listening when I saw the morning sun
Share daylight with a gentle, steady rain

They say that time will heal you but I can’t say I’d agree
I miss you just as much as I did then
It seems the world is buried, too – unoccupied machines
And sometimes I just need to hold your hand

If you could see me here, today, I hope you’d still be proud
I hope my chosen path would make you happy
And someday, when the time has come for me to walk the aisle
I’ll close my eyes and listen…
for the tapping