Deny It Not

Deny It Not

We are of the sea
and of the caves,
though 
 
time 
 
has rinsed us clean
of these dim 
memories.
 
 
Yet we still long
to splash about, 
and explore dark 

spaces.
 
 
Yes, we have
 forgotten whence 
 we came,
 
but  
 
our desperate thirst 
for water— 
 
our voracious appetite 
for meat—
 
and 
 
our hideous capacity 
for violence—
 
abate not.

Unanswered Prayer

Unanswered Prayer

When i was a boy Mother insisted I attend Church each Sunday, though she never once stepped through the door. 

I occupied a pew beside my sisters, and thought about baseball, rocks, golf, fishing, and just about anything else but our Lord and Savior. 

One fine morn there was a special feature—a woman came from afar to play glorious music on her harp for all to hear. 

Wait a minute, I thought. Harp is a light Irish beer, and I'd much rather have a cold glass 
of it right now than her and that danged harp.

No Chance Encounter, This

No Chance Encounter, This

The hall seethed.
Movement.
Noise,
Teenagers herded
between classes.

He stepped in front of me,
an adult out of place,
white shirt and tie.

Like me, he had two eyes,
but one,
rigid,
stared sightless
over my shoulder.

His good eye,
working for two,
eyed mine.

He minced no words.
“I hear you can write.”

He might as well
have accused
me of breathing.

We all had been taught
The ancient symbols of
the alphabet—

the letters,
their shape,
their sounds,
the possible combinations.

We’d learned together—
 
See Jane run.
See Spot jump.
See Bob climb.

Ten years had passed
in the turning of a page—

Nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. 
Sentences. Paragraphs.
 
We all could write.

I’d told no one
I treasured the books.
 
Only Mother knew.
 
She’d confiscated
the flashlight
more than once.

“My name is O’Sammon,” he said.
“I teach the journalism elective.”
“I’d like you to sign up.”
“I think you’ll be good at it.”
 
He’d singled me out of the herd.
 
Someone had ratted me out.
 
I did.
I was.
 
A one-eyed teacher made all the difference.
Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels.com

Unmerited Finery

Unmerited Finery

She said, "Open wide."
I did.
She said, "Close down."
I did.

Even though I'm barely
the commoner,

more so 
peasant or serf,

she treated me
as Royalty,

placing a crown on
an exhausted molar.

"Thank you," I said,
and hurried home to

Buckinghorse Palace

lest

I be found out.

A Modest Request

A Modest Request

When I grow old and weary,
legs all atremble,
unable to walk far,

and my garden—

oh, the delightful colors,
the delicate shapes,
the delicious scents—

when my garden 

is too far to see,

then please,

if you will,

please bring my garden

to me.
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com