Along a nearly empty divided highway, church lots are full this Sunday morning
as I drive alone, windows down, toward the Piedmont of North Carolina. The sun
glares, another heat mirage on the van, which is slowly crossing a land scraped
by glaciers as it takes me toward ancient hills that ooze water through exposed rock.
Someone else now owns the house my parents lived in for four decades.
the date of dad's death
carved in stone
Whether Together or Apart
A bumblebee sits motionless for at least 10 minutes on our deck near the
kitchen door. Ants go up to it tentatively. It moves slightly, turns
around finally, with an adjustment of its left hind leg and a stretch of
its wings, which had been folded back. Its furry yellow patch is square
and contoured to the shape behind the head. One ant tugs a leg, stirring
the bee to fly over thin brown grass.
no one else home
strain for the light
People say they dream of me, but I don't remember dreaming much at all,
let alone of them. Their dreams are very vivid and personal. Mine are
usually flat and sketchy, hardly ever retold to myself or to others.
What should I think and say when they share their detailed dreams of me?
How can I hide my embarrassment and sense of failure?
standing knee deep in waves
a surfer paddles out
In the spot I use, a weed and a seedling grow in two cracks. I park
between them and avoid stepping on them. Eventually, the landscaping
crew will whack them, or the sun will dry them up. Nonetheless, today's
rain should keep them green for a while.
the church's furnace
What was it I told myself last night before going to sleep? Just before
the headlights dimmed against the wall, after the last neighbor pulled
into the parking lot outside my window, I'd promised myself something
that I can't remember now, even though with three cups of coffee drunk
and a fourth one brewing on the hotplate. I haven't been able to
remember anything lately unless I wrote it down.
losing track of my breath
at a kitchen table
I remember November days as a teenager in Ohio. Slow-moving clouds
shaded the leaf-covered courtyard during an afternoon study period, 11th
grade. I had plans to do something after graduation, if I could wait
that long. Now, having done something, I wish the anticipatory feeling
would return. Sometimes, it almost does.
monks loading hay
a few bales snow-topped
under a cross