Monday, September 26, 2011

I think it happened something like this… #6 - Boredom


#6 - Boredom

The guys grew tired of record stores, sporting goods, and watching girls. We ended up in a stationary shop. Wandered while the lone clerk reluctantly followed. I picked up a stapler, wove through the shelves, turned a corner, slid it behind some envelopes, and bolted.

The clerk met us at the exit. “I think you forgot to pay for that stapler.”

“What stapler?”

“The one you picked up.”

“You accusing us of stealing? Go ahead. Call the cops.” We smirked, shrugged, offered up our empty pockets.

He feigned looking, backed off. “Get out. Don’t come back!”

We laughed and walked away.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I think it happened something like this… #5 - Russell


Russell

His puffy red face and misshapen mouth were the result of beatings and non-existent teeth. 

He collected bottles and scavenged garbage while mumbling threats to imagined people. He’d pedal fast, bent over the frame of his rusty, crooked bike. Kids would chase and taunt, but never really tried to catch him. Nobody wanted the game to end.

We heard rumors that he lived in a shack near the market. Some older kids bragged to a wide-eyed audience that they sure showed him. “We broke in and trashed the bum’s place.”

I stayed clear of Russell, out of fear or pity.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thirty-five

9.14.74 Connie & I were married. I wrote this poem in honor of our 35th anniversary 9.14.09. I'm re-posting it today, our 37th.

Thirty-five

Sometimes I wasn’t sure
We’d make it
Sometimes I wasn’t sure
I wanted to

When we started
I assumed we’d get here
Expected us to stay together
But had no clue what was ahead
Or what it would take

It’s not a milestone,
Like fifty
But well past twenty-five
People notice twenty-five and fifty
Appears thirty-five
Is no big deal
According to public opinion,
At least

Memories made
And more forgotten
Seasons of devotion
And trials of anxiety
Grace remembered
And offenses forgiven
And much forgiven again

It is the choice we made
The path we’ve followed
And I would choose it again
I think I do
I hope we do
Everyday

Monday, September 12, 2011

April Fool’s Day

I am re-posting this poem during this our anniversary (37th on 9.14) week. 


Someone should make a law
That we hold all weddings on April 1st
Because only fools would make
Those promises

Promises to
Put another person first and
Stick with them
No matter what happens

To love
To sacrificially give
All because of a promise;
It’s almost un-American

There are too many examples
Of failure and despair
Outsiders mock it,
Rationalize, and degrade it

Some lie through their teeth
They make the hollow promises
For convenience
To get what they want

But some, the true fools,
Still make the promises
Maybe their youthful zeal
Blinds them to what’s ahead

And some, more foolish yet,
Keep their promises
Not because it’s easy
Or because they meet all expectations

But true fools believe the promises matter
That love cannot be forced
That it’s sometimes found
By two fools

Who learn to laugh together

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I think it happened something like this… #4 - Until Morning


Until Morning

On the best summer days, we’d play with friends all day and sleep outside at night. You might get to have one friend over. Maybe two.

We’d wait for lights to dim and our parents to sleep. The big maple at the end of the block was our gathering place. We whispered jokes and lies in the dark. Coughs stifled laughter. We’d light and flick matches; in later years, we smoked. Sometimes Denny would strip naked and run around the street.

At the sight of a house light or sound of a car, we scattered to our sleeping bags until morning.