One Thing

The lady in the picture is a fraction of her whole-a bit of glasses, hair like mine.  Did she shape the assignment or was it the Wizard of Oz for freshman comp?  I don’t know, but as with so many words shaped into injunctions it sticks in my craw–pick the one thing?  Not a good thing?  Not one among brothers? I suspect literary ambush, which then feels like literary paranoia, but I kick around/go into the weeds with this one thing-

You.  You are the one thing.  The voice in my head steadying my coward’s heart. My man, Jesus I tell Madeline about that universal division of time into before and after You.

Like if you believed in evolution it would be 50 billion, million zillion years BCE, and those sylphish, wispy 2000 after.

After you.

Let me just

Tag along after you

Big brother

Strong tower

Never-leave-me God


J. crashes the party

If you asked me how I knew it was you I would touch your face and say aardvarks!! Anteaters!! Warthogs!! Your humor as unmistakable as your wit, odd they all refuse to see you, you in the over-sized retro flippers, ducky float ring and wild Hawaiian print crashing the party, the holiday, the cozy churchy potluck making almost everyone supremely uncomfortable.  Everyone except the children who delight in your flamboyant honesty, your failure to adhere in any way to our sheepy ways, shorn and alone

You hand off the flowery shirt, the float, the flippers (none of which you ever needed)

seamless garment to sunblind guards

World go dark, pain and love

Set free

Brace yourself

Comfort girl myself

I rifle through the postcards from

The places you have been 

Looking for things you loved

Always people, always broken 

Then strain to hear your voice 

As you tell them about the Luke 13 people

All dead, all tragic until you

direct our eyes into the deep

Pool of Siloam, reflected the tower before it fell?

Did the blind man know it was there before he could

See you standing there

Across the street from all my loneliness

Beckon me come close

Brace yourself, Love

Dissembling Wrong

So close

to a reclusive keeper

of memories, of wrongs

Shuffling among the forgotten objects

Placeholders for the barely living:

anonymous empty

water bottles, hollow and crumpled

Become the jury

Old newspapers still swaddled in

Their plastic rain protectors

Told to be 

Witnesses or spectators

Instructed to rise 

As a one-armed nutcracker assumes the bench

Rag doll court reporter records the proceedings 

Mr. Vinegar prosecutes while

the defense attorney was appointed from among the 

A pantheon of generic

Happy Meal toys.

But the victims are living songbirds

Twittering in the disheveled

cage of my heart of course

Always re-animating  dried bones-

Off-kilter, neglected, wrongs

Will inexorably be

Radically, fundamentally transformed

When the true King

Calls them back

To life

Love Will Find You

Voice in your head

Kinda sounds like you but…

Kinder, wiser, more forgiving

Bright penny on the ground

In the most unlikely places

A posse of leaves long wrung from living limbs

Dance, alive in the winter wind

Sing your name

No matter 

A big impossible 

Promise unless it is Truth

Kind that sets a body free

Not unlike those ephemeral leaves

Dry bones

Bits of things found

In the unlikeliest places

Love will find you

No matter what.