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

 

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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

Fortitude

Fortitude
From father to father,
and friend to friend,
I send you thoughts
I can barely comprehend.

I have been reticent
and respectfully hesitant
to send my thoughts,
any thoughts, your way.
Because, for the first time,
perhaps first time ever,
I simply could not find
any words to say.

After laboured rumination,
days spent distracted,
with all of your family
weighing on my mind,
feeling extremely selfish
and somewhat irresponsible,
I will attempt to express
thoughts I’ve managed to find.

As a distant friend
it would be remiss,
and inadequate,
to send you my love.
If I was a believer
I could send a prayer,
deferring my sentiments
to someone up above.

I have no wisdom
to pass on to you,
no innate answers
that I can honestly give.
It’s an experience
that I have never had,
and one, that no one
should ever have to live.

You already know 
we send our condolences,
and we know you have family
for a comforting hug or a soothing kiss.
So, as my tear touched sentences
gain their momentum,
the least that I can do
is to let you know this.

We have read the resilient words
that you have shared,
have great respect for your fortitude
in the face of such pain.
We’ve seen the positive approach
that you have displayed,
the cascade of beautiful memories
and there affirming refrain.

Pictures of a young life
well-lived, always to the fullest,
by a vibrant young man
who seems exceedingly wise.
Smiles and great experiences,
friends and family, and life,
images of dedication, and pride,
seen through his father’s eyes.

We admire, from our distance,
your immense courage, and resolve,
as you lead by example,
for those also exceedingly sad.

The best representation of a parent
and a dedicated husband,
the brave face of a grieving family,
the embodiment of a caring Dad.

Seeing this fortitude in you
provides us all with inspiration,
with the stark realization
that we must cherish every day.
And, what I realize now is,
that the most important thing,
is not what we have to offer you,
but rather, what we can take away.

Thinking of your love, and loss
makes me want to give my all,
recognizing a perspective
that I should have embraced before.
When I see your stance,
representing such strength,
I am inspired to be stronger
and to love life just that much more.

Whenever I get down
I will climb right back up,
look at my little problems
with the appropriate perspective.
Will take the time to notice
the warmth that surrounds me,
to understand how lucky I am,
whenever I feel reflective.

Every time I feel the impulse
I will give my daughters a hug,
holding on to it, and them,
just a little longer.
I will tell them, far more often,
just how much I love them,
with a renewed certainty,
which is just that much stronger.

And, I will never use distance
as a lazy, convenient excuse,
because when time is so tenuous,
it should never be a bother.
This is a promise I intend to keep,
in honour, of both you and your son,
as I draw upon your fortitude
to be a better friend, and father.

Father to father,
and friend to friend,
my words barely touch
the respect that I send.


Fortitude
– 
courage in pain or adversity:

synonyms: courage · bravery · endurance · resilience · mettle
In memory of Ricky Davies
(1993-2016)

 

 

Legacy

       Legacy

Can you leave
a legacy behindIMG_20150113_154720[1]
When your
blood line
ceases?
When no one
still living
shares
your blood?


No children

and wife gone
Ninety-three years
in this world 
Simple facts
for a simple man

Extraordinary 
perhaps not
But look closer
to find

Certain details
of this life


Married for

fifty-seven years
Partners in life-149309_ORIGINAL
for sixty
Alone for his
last fifteen

Literally worked in
the old salt mine
Yet still found
the resolve
Yet still found
the time

Served his nation
in World War II
Decorated for
his bravery
Liberating France
from Nazi ruleIMG_20150113_154846[1]

Volunteer fireman
Chief for years
Legion executive
Charity work
Loving husband
Friend to many


Proud and kind

small town man
Always a smile
in his eyes
Always a kind word
to say

You could see
his happiness
Always could sense
his ease 
You can recognize
his place


The long lineimages
at the wake
proof

Tears of honour
beside the grave
evidence
Of a life
well spent

All that he had
to those of us
who mattered

His wife and
his memories
by his side…

The people
of his legacy

 

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