Consumed

20200109_110906                                                                        CONSUMED

We all have our present,
and our afters,
and our befores
And, right now,
all of my tenses,
are consumed by yours…


I wake up this morning,
and she is here,
and so am I
Her head comes to rest
on my contented chest
as it breathes a sigh
She slides out of bed
and opens up the blinds
to nothing but blue sky
To time, taken for granted,
as each next day
cruises on by

Then, suddenly, my thoughts turn
To the sad and horrific news
the two of you have shared
Like a sharp slap in the face,
I am now thoroughly awake
I feel trapped, and ensnared
I am jolted to the core
by your worst nightmare
And I am truly scared
I am terrified and consumed
by you just never know
And, of course, am unprepared

I am overcome, knowing,
that our every days
can change just like that
Realizing, that our tomorrows
could be suddenly lost
in the drop of a hat
Overcome knowing, at any moment,
the momentum of a life
can fall suddenly flat
As I realize all of this,
I look helplessly toward her,
 shaken by all of that

So I take her in my arms…
just to have her there


My daughter says good-bye,

on a Sunday,
and I wipe away a tear
Spoiled, as I was,
for the eleven weeks
I had her so near
My mind wanders,
to what awaits
for another school year
And to all of those things
I took for granted
while she was here

Then, my thoughts leap,
in an instant,
back to the two of you
I am emotionally assaulted
by the brutal realities
of all you are going through
Struck, by the cruel circumstance
that life can afflict
with barely a clue
Consumed, by helpless fear and anger
By the vast uncertainty
And by the blatantly true

I am overcome, knowing,
that delicate balance
of our hopes and our dreams
Realizing, our tenuous reality
is seldom as certain
as it sometimes seems
Overcome, knowing,
life can take a terrible turn
despite our grandest schemes
I realize, with cold certainty,
we are helpless to the course
of what destiny deems

So I call my daughter…
just to hear her voice

We all are at the mercy
of what life takes,
and what life brings
And, right now,
I am consumed, knowing,
that it takes many things.

Applause

Applause

I’ve been here many times,
as their childhood has flown past

Sitting alone in the crowd
smiling, and having a blast
A proud, dedicated single parent
gathering memories that will last

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She weaves her way through a defense

that had previously refused to yield
Deft footwork and bursts of speed
guide her down the field
I spring from the edge of my seat
as a late victory is sealed

My legs, energized by her exploit
My lungs, filled with a rush of air
An abrupt acknowledgment of her endeavor
as I quickly rise up from my chair
Emphatic words in a father’s approval
ecstatic to be right there

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I see my teenage powerhouse
as she tumbles across the floor
A round-off and a back handspring
My gasp, and then a perfect two more
An exalted, frightening, wonderful feeling
that resonates to my core

My stomach, churning when she jumps
My heart, leaping when she lands
The uniquely exhilarating anguish
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put down the camera
to free up my hands

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The impetus for my applause
Feats that constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My two hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


It seems to me that it’s a graceful gazelle
that suddenly emerges from the pack
Anticipating the exact moment
from my spot along the track
As she glides around the final curve
the others get further and further back

My mind, racing with her to the finish
My senses, tingling from the start
The extent of her accomplishments
matching the size of her heart
Knowing the work ethic and the effort
that always set her apart

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Being early gets me a good seat
Dead center, given the chance
Oblivious of my surroundings
I listen to her play, I watch her dance
Happily lost, inside of myself
My own choice, my soul circumstance

My eyes, no matter what her stage
My ears, for any of the bands
The selfish, singular focus
that any parent understands
Proud, as I put the program down
to free up my hands

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The inspiration for my applause
Daughters who constantly astound
No urge to look beside me
No need to look around
My t
wo hands, together in the crowd
making their own sound


Sitting alone, in the crowd

as each new season has passed
Thankful for each new memory
as time ticks by so fast
Never wondering, or worrying,
if this one will be the last

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