Broken

                                                                           Broken
A trucker walks into a synagogue…

I
t sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s not.

Not a joke when this trucker is a crazed anti-Semitic
looking for somewhere to aim his misguided blame
Not when he perpetrates another of the countless massacres
that have become the wretched lore of America’s shame
Not a joke when any old trucker from Pennsylvania
can inexplicably have twenty-one guns registered in his name

It’s not the least bit funny when this same old story happens every other day.
It’s called the same old story, because the same old story is always the same.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same old story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the devastation
Sickening me again, as a broken system cracks
Resonating again, as a broken person snaps
The devastation of every other day
The anger, the heartache, the vast impacts
The scourge of so many weapons, the same cold facts
So many lives,
changed in the worst way
Lost, in the devastation,
of every other day

181028134306-01-tree-of-life-synagogue-super-tease


A young couple decides to start a family…

It sounds like a very nice story, until it’s not.

A young mother pulls on her favourite boots,
excited about
a long-awaited night out with her friends
Drinks and dancing, and all the best intentions,
missing her daughter more with every text she sends
Her husband sends her a photo of their peaceful sleeping baby,
never imagining, that tonight, his wife’s life abhorrently ends

Yet another lost name on the long, sad, deplorable list of every other day.
Three more victims of a system that breaks far more often than it bends.

It seems to happen
every other day
Lives change, in the blink of an eye
Lives changed, in the worst possible way
So many lives
The same sad story
Every other day

Every other day
I can feel the desolation
Weakening me again, as a broken system fails
Resonating again, as a broken child wails
The desolation of every other day
The anguish, the heartbreak, the immense scale
The weight of so many coffins, so many final nails
So many lives stolen
So many broken
So many changed
Changed, in the worst way
The same sad news
The same sad reality
The same desolation,
every other day
untitled

 

Advertisements

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

Sixteen

                       SIXTEEN

As I began to write this for youIMG_20150301_191535[1]
I knew only one place to start
In the bottomless well of pride
That lies deep within my heart

On this occasion, especially
As you turn sixteen today
I find my thoughts are flowing
I find it’s easy for me to say

Just how proud I am of you
Of who you have come to be
The exceptional person you are
And just how much that I see…

I see a free and happy spirit
I can see that in any light
I see your limitless future
And I see that it is bright

I see your kindness and compassion
I see your sense of right and wrong
I see a breadth of inner beautySun for Every
That spans at least a mile long

I see your charm and contagious energy
I see your love for life, and I see joy
I see my rocking chair on the front step
I see an interview for every boy

I see your talents and ambition
I see your determination and your pride
I see that competitive beast inside you

That you find impossible to hide

I see your mom cheer when you compete
I also hear it, because she squeals
We both see just how fast you can run
But have no idea where you got the wheels

I see your creative way of thinking
I see your terrific sense of humour
I hear you like it when I purposely embarrass you
Though that may only be a rumour

I see and I cherish our mutual respect 
I see that as how it will always be
I see how often that we see eye to eyeblack-and-white-hd-wallpapers-4-comfort.jpg
Now that you’re the same height as me

I see how gracefully you adapt to change
I see it, because it has happened a lot
I see you smile, and just go with the flow
This may be the strongest strength you’ve got

I see you as a baby and I see you today
I see the sixteen years in between
I see myself richer for the experience
And I treasure all that I have seen

I see the day and year on the calendar
I see a terrific person, sitting right here
I see the same wonderful daughter
That I have seen every year

JUST

                     JUST

She may be just thirteenIMG_20150305_211417[1]
but my daughter has this knack
Somehow she just gets me

and she always has my back
Mostly it’s just who she is
Sometimes it’s just because
Not entirely sure how she does it
yet she often just does

It was just her who noticed 
when I felt mostly just lonely
Tired of too many nights
when it was just me only
She says that she knew itIMG_20150305_211903[1]
Could just see it in my eyes
Just ten years old then
yet exceedingly wise

“You just need a girlfriend,”
is just what she said
It caught be by surprise
and just stayed in my head
She was absolutely right
Sometimes I was just sad
Despite all of the love
that I already had

I knew she was right
I was just hard to convince
I met someone just great
And have been happy since
Not sure just how she knew
just how it was
How she often seems to knowIMG_20150305_214433[1]
but she just does


She can tickle my funny bone

with just a certain word
Something I have just said
or that she just overheard
Can put me in my place
with just one line
Yet she seldom overdoes it
and that’s just fine

Knows when to surprise me
when I just need to smile
That it’s just the right time
when it’s just been a while
We can both be impatient
when life just gets in the way
That it’s just easier to laugh
and just get on with your dayIMG_20150305_212125[1]

Knows just what I need to hear
when I start to feel low
She just seems to sense it
just seems to know


So much just like her Dad

In just so many ways
Emotional when she speaks
competitive when she plays
Wants to see the entire movie
from just the very start
The importance of just a hug
and the music in her heartIMG_20150305_212334[1]

A shared impulse to nurture
Together, just a common ease
Just a reflection of myself
in much of what she sees
A strong, calm understanding
that’s more than just DNA
I find myself in her eyes
and that’s just where I’ll stay

My daughter is just here for me
She enhances my life, 
just because
Shares this life-long bond with me
and I just love that she does

Bus

                     Bus                         

I see the bus coming up the street
I am energized as I leave my seat
Feeling that extra bounce in my feet
My heart embracing the added beat.

IMG_20150303_153718[1]

It’s your contagious, expressive energy
An always positive vibe that enlivens me
Your ever-present smile, your joie de vivre
The impressive person you have come to be

Always offering and anxious to help out
Willing to try, even when there is doubt
Confident and capable is what you shout
You already understand what living is about

When your school day is finally done
The best part of mine has just begun
Shining bright in the late-afternoon sun
My first-born daughter, you are second to none.

IMG_20150301_185453[1]

– 

Changes have come, as we knew they would
Less time together than we know we should
In different places from where we stood
Life gets in the way, like we thought it could
It may be different,  but we are good

Another twist in a road that often bends
Between work and circumstance and friends
We are seldom together when the day ends
Yet with just one call, my heart mends
Buoyed by your voice and the assurance it sends

Patience and understanding, as we have discussed
We will always find time, in that we trust
Making the most of it is our infinite plus
The same father-daughter bond connecting us…
I just miss being there, when you get off of the bus.

IMG_20150301_191535[1]

Jump

                Jump

I clearly remember 
like it was yesterday.
You said “jump”
as plain as could be.
I stared down
as you looked up.
My one-plus year old
smiling at me.

With cautious hands
beneath your arms.
I lifted my little girl
from her little bed.
I laughed aloud
at my surprise.
“Of course you can”
was all I said.

Walking on air
to the end of the hall.
Down the stairs
to your favorite place.
Different this time
with that single word.
And the anxious look
on your one-plus face.

You seemed more eager
as I put you in.
The harness secure
under your tiny frame.
You immediately began
as I let you go.
I immediately knew
it would never be the same.

“Jump, jump, JUMP!”
as plain as could be.
Three more times
as you bounced and sat.
With no hesitation
and the proudest grin.
“Jump, jump, JUMP!”
just like that.

Astounded, I watched
and intently I listened.
My bouncing baby girl
and her happy word.
Up and down
and over and over.
The sweetest sound
that I had ever heard.

There may have been
a “mama” or a “dada”.
But nothing as perfect 
or with less doubt.
Other infant things
that infants say.
There must have been
but I’ve blocked them out.

I soaked it all in
and beamed with pride.
“She’s smart already
and athletic too!”
It occurred to me
on that glorious day.
And it’s the same now
when I think of you.

A vivid memory
about my first-born.
I tell it often
and I’m never bored.
This proud father,
who could show you now…
If he’d grabbed his camera
and pressed ‘record’.

%d bloggers like this: