Captivated by bridges
connection previously
assumed impossible

A grandchild’s love
the loyalty of a dog
the kinship of writers

I watch life pass by
flash on sorrow, till
bridges restore peace.

(Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image my own.)

This Is How It Happens

Cherubic and reeking
grief’s pallor heavy
he comes to me

Of course, he does
I am schooled in compassion
seldom flinch at raw pain

I attend to the wounds
listen; reassure
but I am weary

My own sorrow unattended
loss and betrayal an inner bleed
know I have only so much to give

But he is not alone,
there is another
a mere child…

Cherubic and reeking
grief’s pallor heavy
he comes to me

Of course he does
and I will sign on to stay…
schooled in the art of compassion.

(The stories that come to us in the dreamtime, often celebrate anniversaries. Years ago, I was in a cycle of abusive relationships, culminating with the one represented in the poem. We met on New Year’s Eve. My son, then early teens, remarked to me that I always chose relationships that asked a lot of me but seldom gave in return. While I laughed it off in the moment, his words remained with me, especially as this man also betrayed me with another. It was the turning point I needed to do some real soul-searching.)

Image my own.

Love In Aisle Nine

Lust ignores warning signals
fancies itself a savvy consumer
commits minor infractions with
confidence, sidestepping anxiety.

Loneliness, nearsighted, shops
without discernment, fails to
recognize that all life is transient
and patience is the key to harmony.

Love – the main attraction – is not
a lone chauffeur, nor a self-serving
commander, feeding off helplessly
dis-abled hearts bordering insanity

nor is it initiated by determination
a product of drive – brokenness
barreling through hurt’s congestion
misinterpreting openings. The path

to intimacy requires compliance,
obeys service, calms egos, a slow
non-consumer-based passage –
no bargains in the commitment dept.

(Love in Aisle Nine first appeared here in December, 2017. Image is my own.)

Hand Holding

Father’s grip
controlling crush
warned against

First love
Grade one
holding hands
walking home

A sister’s hand –
frail flesh stretched
over aching bones –
clung to mine
until too hot to touch
I had to let go
while she surrendered
her last breath.

A lover’s hand
lacks stillness –
strokes and cajoles
sensuality evoking desire

Held my children’s hands
with my heart –
never wanting to let go
prideful possession

A granddaughter’s fist
still pink from birthing
wraps around my finger
gripping the unknown
with the ferocity of
one hungry for life

Husband’s hand
reaches for mine
conveys support –
strength to propel
me forward.

Hands convey
what the mind cannot –
a secret language
nuanced for life’s moments
leaving deep impressions.

(Hand Holding first appeared here August, 2018. I submit an edited edition here for Reena’s Exploration challenge: hands. Image from personal collection.)