Today a friend, old before her time,
passed by—younger, it seemed.
Losing her husband, she had lost
her footing in the world for years,
change—the stranger most feared:
hidden in dark rooms everywhere.
I was struck by her face: wax-white
and smooth, like a cupped candle,
her eyes, calm reflective pools
no longer hooded
or stoned with grief,
as if she had sunk through her own tears
to the cold bottom of that well
until it was emptied
of the one held most dear,
and stood now, looking up,
drinking from the buckets
of light that filled it.
Another older poem, included in my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.
At the dinner party, eleven people,
A striking redhead, warmly smiling—
the one whose world had recently halved.
Those of us who didn’t know
wouldn’t have known.
I’m used to death
ringing a bell that won’t stop
singing of loss as love’s
forgotten child—a call to mass
sung down the long corridors
The mouth that can hush it
speaks to me
of a love built brick by brick,
circling a great and dangerous fire,
holding that heat
like a hand to the heart
when only ash is left.
Has lips full of secret amens,
stretching a smile beyond
mere courtesy, until it cracks
me open, I who have not
yet travelled that road
or those blurred miles from home.
Night falls before we know it:
death has a thing for a man about
to retire. Like a virus, it jumps
from acquaintance to friend to kin,
no sympathy for women and children.
Taking on mass and weight, given
a name, it terribly crowds a room.
This being human—to matter.
Through our bodies. Past them.
Her smile all I can see
of love’s fierce alchemy—bright
crack of light escaping a closed door.
Another poem from my new chapbook “Irresistible”, available from Finishing Line Press here and from Amazon here