Shiloh: All American Poetry

The Dot

I saw one lonely
balloon,
colouring a humble sky,
growing smaller into
a drifting red dot.
I, too, grew smaller
and smaller wasting
away from the eye of
the balloon,
appearing like a dot,
only in a different
place.

Divider Line

Skin and Bones

The fresh skin is not bruised,
nor the growing bones broken.
The smallness is only
innocent for awhile.
But, then, this bursting-new
child becomes a fine
porcelain of blame
for someone’s blinded emptiness,
and guilty for someone’s
failures.
Yes, the bones crack like wishbones
with bruises that turn from
purple to black,
and tears that learned quickly,
don’t cry.
And, then, the bones did not match,
though, the new skin covered them well,
leaving a picturesque facade for
awhile.

Divider Line

Passing By

I saw
a possible Rockwell Painting
of a long slivered woman
standing next to her
stopped car along side
of the highway,
wearing her moving
blue gingham,
dressed against the
pavement and the
powder blue sky.
I was driving in the opposite
direction,
and only caught sight of her
as she walked around to the
rear of her car.
I don’t know what her
troubles were today,
but I knew, right then,
I could only handle mine.
I thought with her arms
folded, and her eyes filled
with frustration,
she would make a good painting.

Divider Line

The Boy

A small boy cries
within
a grown man’s heart
stirring the
fathomless thoughts
from his youth,
but not the tears
that could melt the
solid waste of manhood,
and save the boy.

Divider Line

Normal

Riding up the escalator,
I stood,
like an empty bottle
on an assembly line belt
waiting to be filled,
and found myself behind
a proper lady suited in
executive style.
I was almost eye level
to the back of her knees.
As I critiqued her, I saw
that one of her dark
stockings had torn leaving
several runs spreading
apart, like tributaries
flowing up instead of down,
showing the pale skin of
her leg.
I wondered if she knew
the demise of her hose
that tainted her, and that
now she looked normal like
me.

Divider Line

The Colour of Life

She is three,
fair-skinned and blond
hair,
and I watched her dance,
Sunday morn,
upon a wooden pew.
He is three,
dark-skinned and his hair
is curly black.
He dances, too.
Then, they scouted each other,
and rose to meet their
likeness,
wriggling more.
While their mothers hissed,
the children’s smiles
received each other.
It was then, I discerned,
there wasn’t
any colour on their faces.

Divider Line

The Dowager’s Hump

Misery, like a dowager’s hump,
bends my stance,
leaving me a downward glance
with a cut of life unseen.
My world is faceless, looking
down,
with sullen colours of grey
and brown.
I see a stump, but not a tree,
a basement window, but not a door,
ants that crawl, and not much more.
And yet I see the blue-hazed sky
reflected in a settled pond
where I sit and read the psalms
to pray someday thy will be done.

Divider Line

Never Untied

Death had washed all
over your face, yet
you lingered, and could
still grip my hand, like
a bound leather strap.
Oh, how tight the embrace
of a relationship akin,
no matter what feelings
lived within.

Divider Line

The Words I Cannot Say

Somedays the pages of
my mind
turn too quickly,
jumbling letters
inbetween the lines.
Those are the days
that seem so awfully
teary,
and smear away the
words I want to say.

Divider Line

Not Dumb

My mind is a
cluttered room
with all of its
dirty socks
on the floor.
Yesterday’s lunch
is hidden under
the bed
with crumbled
linens and more.
It’s no wonder
my thoughts
trip over my tongue
coming out so
shoddy
you would think I was
dump.

„The Words I Cannot Say,“ „Passing By,“ „The Dot“ and „The Boy“ appeared in „Psychopoetica, 37 & 38“; all other pieces are first published.

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