At The Goodwill

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At The Goodwill

This is how I remember it
Or this is how the poem demands the retelling.

You can break a word apart
Not unlike diagramming sentences.

(I loved that part of English class.
Chalk board, chalk, eraser, eraser dust, teacher

Back facing class, front facing board

All the tools for dissecting a sentence,
Splayed out on the operating table

They dosed off, classmates to my left and to my right
Unwilling participants, missing the point of the drill.)

The word is a brand, is an adjective, is a noun
Is too often lost on me.

Before I made it through the swinging doors
She snuck up on me in the parking lot

It was never about the bargain, the search, the thrill of the hunt
After all

It was never even about the monetary charitable contribution
(Who are we kidding?)

This is not the first time I have been tripped up
Just the first time
At the Goodwill

Blessed are the lonely
For they will go to the Goodwill in search of conversation

I give myself a C-

 

 

 

 

Upon A Second Glance

 

 

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Upon  A Second Glance

As frequent as blue moons and thousand year flood levels
Highly coveted is the second chance
I cashed in on the leventy leventh
One

My lab Wendy, English and fourteen
Blind and blonde
Crossed the street, narrow, often void of traffic
Mostly it’s the shrimpers who speed toward the docks
Their boats bear names like Mary Margaret, wait or don’t for their return
They dodge my  girl, she can only smell them coming
Age has racked her sense and sensibilities
Leaving her with but one
She wobbles and plods, our paces are kindred

My beloved has dodged a million near misses
Intrigue lies in smells deposited on other sides
Not too far from home
She is cured of wandering
Wondering cannot be cured

And I have missed a chance or plenty more
To penetrate what lies right here
My eyes can cut the surface, or carve deeper still
Into those pleasant offerings of now
And just
Right here

I am guilty of hoarding them
This is my confession

Here, by the sea I learned to see again

I use the stars on bright nights

measuring stick whittled by grace
Barometer of gracious plenty
Far from a city with its blinding bulbs
I count and count and count
Again

Gazing back and gazing forth
I increase my chances of remembering
In all the double takes, exposures doubled in my
Mind’s eye

We run from dementia by running into joy
Recording Beauty is our defense

The hands that cup the sun
Cup me

On a second glance
Highly coveted is the second chance

 

In The Middle Of Grief

In The Middle Of Grief

No start here’s demarcated for convenience, clearly
Black and white signage gone missing
Like a crucial stop sign stolen by the juvenile for wall art in their dorm

No lesson plan, well bullet-pointed, yellow Sharpie highlighted
Key points in bold to guide you
Clear as water, bought and paid for

No manual, though plenty of truisms
“Grief shared is grief diminished”
Comes to mind amid the grief

No terra firma
Safe harbors
Ports in the storm for the rocking boat

For the raw time being
In the beginning there is death, and we are parted
Dearly departed, we
Until the healing begins

And you begin to move through the arc of grief
Slow, not steady
Like an 8th grader, in Calculus class
Over their head, up to their mascara heavy, eye-shadow laden eyeballs
In deep

Walking to the grave helps
Just don’t watch me grieve
You told me all I need to know
I was loved
I loved
Well

There is no middle
There is no end
The circle is never broken

Ashes to ashes, dust to dusk
And then the bell rings
Time’s up, pencils down

It is well to remember
You were loved
You loved
Well

The circle of love is never broken, friend
Your bark has made it’s mark on me

 

 

 

 

The Greatest Of These Is Love

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Join me today at Grace Table?  My words and I are over there telling a love story. A story of love.

“It wasn’t love at first sight, but it was love very soon after we wrapped our heads and hearts around one important realization. Beauty lay behind the fringes of the dirt. Redemption could be found on the frayed edges of the brokenness. Restoration would require patience and sweat equity. It would demand waiting. And it would call for trust. But it would return much more than it could ever have asked of us.

This was a transaction of the heart. And we would be reminded that love wins every time.

Thank you, as always, for joining me at the table….(Click the link to read “The Greatest Of These Is Love”.)

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