By the Way, the Bears Won

Nose first he hit the stairsfans at Chicago's Soldier Field
hard cold cement meeting
becoming cold bloodied cement
for he slid face first across four more
after falling.

He began raising himself
Pushing and pulling until
he was able to reach for the railing
till standing, but lost his grip
tumbling backward.

His head came within inches of me
I saw the grimace spread across his face
head bounced against one and another stair
I looked into his bloodied face wondering
if he felt pain.

Eyes looking nowhere in particular
with a sickly smile frozen on his face
he said to me or no one in particular
“Damn I slipped and spilled my damn beer.
Where’s my beer?”

Blood oozing from seven or eight
cuts and scrapes on his face. A mess.
more blood than could be wiped away
Crawling away, “better not do that again,”
he slowly mumbled.

By the Way, the Bears Won

He Will Not Say Who

he will not say who’s wantingman in a fog, walking away
you don’t need to, she
said she had to let him go, even though
though she never would learn what
nor would she ever know
and it would tear at her inner
ripping like a dull blade
no smooth cold slice
in the vicinity
that’s the way it was
nearly, merely a guess
how she let him go
where

There was not enough time to know
there was no sacrifice to be made
she piled the sticks on top of each
but they did not add up
and they would not burn
she recognized him for what
he would continue walking never
there would be no admittance
no means to scrabble over
then the truth would not matter
promising would not help
for she knew there was a lie
because his not knowing was knowing
while she would weep
for the wanting

He Will Not Say Who

Ears Alert Saunters

Looking around at todaybrown horse
Looking the same as yesterday
A refrigerator’s leftovers
cold, old, told in whispers
seething once seeing once
There was more,
wasn’t there?
It was good
or was it?

Trying to stray from the pack
the horse, ears down saunters
toward a path never journeyed
knowing there’s a reason
waiting for its resolution.
It nurtures,
doesn’t it?
There is warmth,
isn’t there?

And the morning will be
slowly seeping into the day
holding off the inevitable
nightness of memory
while gray shades survive.
There was meaning,
wasn’t there?
It had a soul
didn’t it?

Or should looking be around now?

Ears Alert Saunters

The Nearness of Away

Oh yes I have felt youstanding far away
Though you be miles
even complete continents
Away

As staring at the night sky
Through the chill
It is your warmth
Keeping me

As so often has been known
Your thoughts are of me
As mine of you
Like the tree clutching its leaves
Late into the autumn
You hold me and I will not go
Away

It is as if the very earth
knew the weight of your feet
And passed the indentations
On to me

Oh that I would hear
The soft hum of your voice
Stretching easily through
The memories of what is
when you are close but too far
Away

The Nearness of Away

It Goes On

it rises like steam through the floorboards playing piano
warming the entire house on a cold morning
sometimes heating it more than sunshine
and slowly the symphony builds

she caresses the keys
a kitten cleaning its fur
a puppy exploring a piece of cardboard
bringing beauty out of nothing in particular

she tells the piano all her thoughts
a language special to her
barely known to me
yet each word is beautiful
each paragraph a new experience
although I know not
what she is saying
There is an understanding
of something in particular

Where I feet a chill
she explores warmth
where I feel emptiness
she instigates love
Where I understand little
She writes an encyclopedia
Where I can barely hum
She satiates the memory

My soul continues the journey
while she supplies the music

It Goes On

And We Did

Sure, he said.Golf course pond and swan
Sure, sure, sure
he said sure a lot
often
long, slow, drawn like
a man who knew nothing about guns
forced into a gunfight
slow and low
It was the word he used when thinking
not thinking about what he was saying
but about whether he wanted to chance
saying what he was thinking
like sap flowing on a cold day
carefully certain.
Sure I know the way.
But he didn’t
and we were lost
lost before we even started
but more in the deep woods
not seeing the path he said
he knew.
Sure, I know where it is.
Sure, I know where I am.
But we
we, fools that we were
believed his sure
in the same way a pack of dogs
follows the loudest dog
into danger
into nothing
until
sure you knew somehow
by some odd miracle
we stumbled from the woods
onto the tenth fairway
not exactly by the Clubhouse
half a golf course away
but close enough for him
to give himself credit.
See, I told you guys.
Sure, I knew.
I always did.
But the laugh we needed
came as surely
as his need to brag.
While walking backwards
toward the bridge
while leading us to the bridge
he tripped over his own feet
and back flopped into the pond
scaring the swan half to death.
There was a moment’s silence until
spitting and spluttering he groaned,
Sure, go ahead and laugh.

And We Did