Bridge

Bridge

I do whatever I need to do
Take whatever way it takes
to see the smile on her face
I have my self-preservation,
and my selfish inspiration,
to take me to that place…

I find solace in technology
In the time-lapse comfort
of a heart-inspired text
I can reach across with words
A bridge that spans the gap
from one smile to the next

Often, I write even more,
as my mind stretches out
to the necessary length
It’s a way from me to her
And I can hold on until then
because this is my strength

When both our separate lives
reluctantly keep us apart
I know I can edge nearer
When I find her response
there isn’t the sound of her voice
but I can still hear her

She is my after
She is my before
She makes my day,
She makes me want more
She is my now
She is my again
She is my next time
She is my til then

black and white bridge leaf outdoors
I do whatever I need to do

Take whatever way it takes
to see the smile on your face
I have my self-preservation,
and my selfish motivation,
to take me to that place…

I have twelve hour work days
Sometimes there’s five
Sometimes, only two
I can shorten either time,
I can shorten either bridge,
with all my thoughts of you

Often, I escape to memories,
as my mind reaches back
to our last perfect night
It’s a short distance away
And I can hold on to then
with all of my might

When my work frustrations
threaten the best of me
I know where I can go
When my patience wains,
I look behind, and move ahead
because I already know

You are my after
You are my before
You make my day,
You make me want more
You are my now
You are my again
You are my next time
You are my until then


Love is the bridge
that gets me to you…
And I always will take it
Thinking about you
edges me ever closer…
Until I can make it.

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Lu

Lu
I have tried to put myself where you are
To imagine how all of this must make you feel.
To imagine all you must be thinking
as you sit down, with us, to share in a meal.
When something as vital as all of this,
questions you’ve carried and could no longer conceal,
becomes something now that actually is.
Something uncertain, that is suddenly real.
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Unanswered questions, so near to your life
The persistent glimmer, as you have grown
Many thought-filled nights, lying in bed,
with a glimpse of the truth, beside an unknown
All of the trappings of everyday normalcy,
family and friends and the seeds you have sewn
Childhood innocence, and then adolescence
An adult, then a mom, with a family of your own

Ongoing years, learning a little at a time
Altered details of who you had hoped to meet
Your husband’s hand, and love and support,
and a wondering heart’s determined beat
Through family trees, into family histories
From informative emails to a signature on a sheet
Back and forth, and around and around,
until your elusive circle is near to complete

In the comfort of somewhere that feels familiar
Together, at long last, on the Huron shore
On a Wednesday in May, at a Goderich gathering,
of open minds, through an open door
With all of your rights, and your revelations,
and all the years that were too much to ignore
After all of the clues, and then the confirmation,
you finally catch up to all that came before

Along with all of the realities of a good life to here,
there is the calm in knowing you have even more.

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We sincerely hope this all feels completely real.
And that we have helped to make it easier for you.
We also look forward to our next time together,
whenever that may be, whatever we may do.
And I think that I can speak for all of us,
for your extra, additional family…and for our mother too,
when I say that whatever your life’s wishes are,
we hope that at least one of them has now come true.

Meeting

                                  Meeting 


I arrive with wine, and little apprehension

Entering your home, my worries are very few
Confident that you are kind, that you are genuine
because your wonderful daughter is a part of you


As I look around, a comfort settles over me
Instantly, I am at ease, and even more sure
We say our hellos and she squeezes my hand

Moments later she takes me on a tour

I see warm colours, and family photos
lovingly displayed, up and down the hall
Your own creations, and your creativity,
gracing each room, and on every wall

Crafty signs, stitch work, and oil paintings
Your personal touches, so easily found
Children and teens, newlyweds and grandkids,
all of your loved ones, leaning or hanging around

Tangibly vibrant, with a flick of each switch
The now and the then, brought to light
The young couple, handsome and pretty
Their beginning, framed, in black and white

We stroll through your memories, new and old,
The long journey of a husband and a wife
A visual journal, of his story and yours,
Room to room, so full of a life

As we join everyone in your living room
I look to you, straight across, sitting in a chair
Our glances meet, knowingly, for a moment
neither overly concerned, but both of us aware


Just as I had hoped, with this important step,
I was adding perspective to my happy reality
But it was also tweaking my ongoing interest
with peoples’ grasps on their own mortality


I find myself staring, as we are having dinner

catching myself, just before you do
I am lost, inside my natural curiosity,
wondering about your point of view

I imagine what you might be thinking
Another Easter dinner, like any other year?
Are you blissfully oblivious to who is new,
and simply thankful that everyone is here?

Are you thinking about who is missing,
a little sad, and reminiscent as you look around?
Or are you soaking in the whole atmosphere
Every familiar sight, every happy sound?

Your grandchildren, all talking excitedly
That perfect mix of exuberance and loud
The smiles of three uniquely beautiful daughters
Your constant smile, telling me you are proud

Your living legacy, right here before you
Those most important, just being themselves
A vital portrait of your loving family
brought down from off the shelves

Your smile subsides only when you speak
Voice cracking, behind the few words you say
You seem quietly content, at the head of the table
as I gradually get to know you, on this April day


Everyone slowly heads towards the door,
saying thank-you and exchanging good-byes
I see your expression change, ever so slightly,
a
s a twinge of melancholy forms in your eyes

Here


HERE

I wake up here, to the sweet sound of nothing
To the peace and the quiet inside my head
To a hush, hiding in the dark
In the drowsy tranquility of your bed
I get lost in the deep lull of my thoughts
In the dulcet tones of my repose
I hear the faintest echo of your breathing
as it comes, and ever so gradually goes

I hear your body move across the sheets
You graze my ear, as you touch my hair
My arm brushes slightly against the duvet
 as I reach to find you there
I feel the weight of your head upon my chest
I feel the warmth of your hand on my thigh
The silence is broken, for the briefest moment
by the contented exhale of my sigh

Here, in the calm of your presence
Here, with the ease of your touch
There is a peace, here in this quiet
And it’s telling me so much
In the comfort of our silence
Here, within this soothing serenity 
I close my eyes, and I listen,
 and Sunday morning whispers to me

If there were just a few more hours
to this perfect time of day
If only, the din of our realities
would kindly stay away
If we could just keep the afternoon
on the other side of the door
We could stay here, in the stillness
and I could hold you, a little more

No words that I need to say here
In the peace of this quiet, I know
I want to hold on to this feeling,
 and to never let it go
Here, in the comfort of our silence
There is no place I’d rather be
I close my eyes, and I listen,
as Sunday morning whispers to me

 

Nest

I am still not used to it.
Both of them only half the time
was hard enough to accept.
Then the teenage years came
and they became independent.
Half the time became
half the time, half the time.
Then came graduation,
and jobs, and university for one.
And now it’s half of them,
half of half the time.
In less than a year and a half
it will be none of them
almost all the time.
That’s life, I suppose…20171130_094348


NEST
 

Our new family home,
that I bought to share
A shell of a house
without you there
Echoes in the halls
Walls, inside of walls
Some framed with memories,
some still bare 

Never seems as bright
when you are gone
A dim comparison,
with half the lights on
Darkness under a shade
Beds perpetually made
A window with a view,
with the curtains drawn


Down, in the basement

Alone, in the yard
I knew it would hit me,
just not this hard

A simple fact of life,

but it feels like a test
They spread their wings,
and they leave the nest


I wander and I wonder,
cleaning up for one
Swept up in thoughts of you
until the work is done
A vacuum, and a broom
The dust in your room
Faint specks of yesterday,
settled, and then none 

The quiet of the night,
t
he silence of compromise
C
alendar on the fridge,
c
old comfort, as time flies
Circles, that tell me when
Two weeks until then
A small glimmer of hope,
faint in
a father’s eyes

 

Empty, in your bedroom
Alone, at the table
I glance to your pictures,
when my heart feels able

Sad solace in knowing
that it’s for the best
When life calls them,
and they leave the nest

 


Strides

Strides

20171126_164947
We looked mostly straight ahead,

the first time we met
Walking, and small talking,
already at ease, as I got to my car
Yet, within the messages,
that lead us to that point,
I knew the enormity
of getting that far

No sense of haste
as we leisurely walk
Steadily paced
in time and talk
Self discovery, together,
with no real clock

Feeling more familiar 
with every block
20171126_170131 

We have picked up the pace,  
as we’ve moved along
Both ready and content
to be moving on
Putting miles, and smiles,
between us and the past
The more we’ve walked
The further we’ve gone

Side by side
our fingers entwined
Stride for stride,
both body and mind
Moving forward, together,
toward what we’ll find

Distancing ourselves
from what’s behind
20171126_162512

Continual but careful steps,
on a path to each other,
Patience, and anticipation,
for what we have in store
So far, so very good, for us,
From nerves and hesitation,
to comfortable conversations,
to moments meant for more

Nights planned
for more time alone
As we delve, we understand
our shared unknown
Time well spent, together,
we can call our own

Hand around hand,
in our comfort zone

Inevitable
Everything, and time,

plenty for us to discover
Our subtle intricacies,
strides for you with me
Walking and talking,
as we ease into us,
Heading toward whatever, 
whenever that may be
 

Dinner

20170801_104703
Dinner

I will raise a glass tonight
and drink to you.
Red wine with dinner
or, perhaps, a cold beer.
I will imagine,
as I sometimes do,
what it would be like
if you could still be here.

The wonderful comfort
of a family gathering.
A backyard barbecue
or, perhaps, a dinner out.
I will remember,
as I often do,
all the little things
that this life is about.

The simple satisfaction
of a table set for many.
Candles on a birthday cake
or, perhaps, an apple pie.
I will look around,
as I usually do,
feel extremely fortunate
and know exactly why.

Tonight, I will say a few words
in honour of you Norm.
Break bread with your granddaughters
and, perhaps, toss a salad in a bowl.
Sit at the head of the table,
as I proudly do,
as a kind and giving father 
content in his role.
—————
You would be eighty-five today,

if you were with us.
There is one less table setting
so, perhaps, you are not.
But we celebrate you today,
as we always will,
because this birthday meal
gives us food for thought.

 

Wavelength

           Wavelength
20160206_130843[1]
Apart in our own worlds

Regrettable but inevitable
Too much time in between.
Some texts and a phone call
Reflective two hour drive
Back to where we’ve been.

Always able to continue
Exactly where we left off
The bond will always hold.
Seamlessly joined together
Cohesive and carefree
Like yesterdays of old.

Vicarious rock and roll
Symbiotic music appreciation
Smiles and affirmative glances.
Twenty minute trade-offs

Guitars and emphatic drums
Meandering random dances.

Age irrelevant atmosphere
Perpetually young of heart
Suspended in our prime.
Reluctantly grown men
Trading personal tracks
While losing track of time.

Irreplaceable friends
Life long brothers
Taking time to play.
The comfort in knowing
That our yesterdays
Can always be today.

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Embraces and honesty
No subject we can’t broach
Confronting life with laughter.
Best men, best buddies
Beside for ups and downs
Before, during and after.

Team and battery mates

Sharing one wavelength
Signals and tell tale signs.
Uncommon commonalities
References unique to us
Through life and like minds.

Truly rewarding hours
Our innate predictability
That sense of what’s known.
The unspoken understanding
Essential and soothing
Inevitable, and our own.

Miles and hours apart
Responsibilities and reality
We make time for the game.FB_IMG_1454780080387[1]
With the sigh of our certainty
We carry on with who we are
Family, in everything but name.

Irreplaceable friends
Life long brothers
Taking time to play.
The comfort in knowing
That our yesterdays
Can always be today.

 

Wakefield

Banner
Wakefield
A small village
A huge heart
A desperate family
A new start

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks
The comfort in knowing
What the best in us thinks
—–

Live music for what ails me,
My spirit needing a lift
The Black Sheep beckoned
My own pre-Christmas gift

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A Weber Brother’s Christmas’…
That had to be good for my soul
I was alone, and a few hours early
 So, it would be fresh air and a stroll
—–

Intending to bide some time,
I curiously opened your door
Just looking for a unique pint
What I found,  was far more

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At first, it was exactly what I wanted
A small crowd, and ‘Perogy Night’!
Easing into the Kaffé 1870 atmosphere
Something about it, feeling just right

It didn’t take very long, however
The numbers began to grow
For live music and a fundraiser
More and more locals, I came to know

Photos Andre Forget

Kaffé 1870, Wakefield for Refugees
An awaiting host, a timely cause

A community coming together
Just like that, and just because

Words from the dedicated organizers,
A gregarious councillor, made everyone smile
The people, the closeness, the obvious warmth
My trip, already, well worth its while

Photos Andre Forget

It would become hard for me to leave
‘Godknowswhat’ was sublime
Extremely accomplished musicians
Donating their talent, and their time

I couldn’t count all of the terrific chats
I had found, in just a few hours
But, what I will never underestimate
Is community, and its obvious powers

Wakefield for Refugees sign showing $30,000 raised.

Seeing the good in so many people
And knowing, when I hear it
Experiencing your generosity

And sharing in your spirit

A raffle ticket, some Bean Fair coffee,
For my table, another round 
I had donated, but felt like the recipient
As I departed, Black Sheep bound
—–
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Two Weber hours later
After another fantastic show
It was time for me to leave
But, I didn’t really want to go

Reflecting, smiling again,
And thinking, alone in my car
About an extremely fortunate family
About just how lucky they are

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Heading home, yet feeling closer
Invigorated, inspired, alive
Accompanied by this community
For my two-hour drive

Kaffé 1870, and The Black Sheep,
The warmest of patrons, and cold beer
And Wakefield, I am grateful
That circumstance brought me here
—–

Perogies, and perspective
New friends, community, drinks

The comfort in knowing
What the best of us thinks

A close community
An open heart
A fortunate family
A new start

Banner

 

Inevitable


Inevitability

is a crutch.
Bracing us
for a life event 
that will hurt
so much.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitably,
at that moment,
we will feel alone.


An unavoidable test.

Right nor wrong.
Facing
a harsh reality
that will
come along.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitably,
and eventually
we lose our own.

tears bench


Inevitability
is a balm.
Easing

our sorrow.
Palliative
and calm.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitability,
comfort in knowing
that we are not alone.


Certainty arrives.

 It always does.
Focus
on
the memories.
The reassurance
of what was.

Parents will pass.
This is known.

Inevitability,
a life, a legacy…
inevitably
etched in stone.

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