Where Once a Bear

Where once a bear swam across a lake

His shifty path lies ensconced in weeds

No fish left to hunt or lairs to make

No biting flies or wavering reeds

 

With heart in pain, in sadness he cries

Where once a bear swam across a lake

His dreams of home adrift in the skies

Too sad to sleep, he remains awake

 

To laugh, emotion too hard to take

Orange flames consuming his heart beat

Where once a bear swam across a lake

Nothing left to provide welcome treat

 

Emptiness embroils his haunted soul

Wriggles in like a poisonous snake

In poetic growls he pays the toll

Where once a bear swam across a lake

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Dreams

Mother, with hair tightly rag-wrapped

Settled in the recliner, napped

 

Dreams drifted to far-flung places

Filled with her relatives’ faces

 

Family friends passed in and out

Love scenes soaked with tremulous doubt

 

A new shape, unfocused, appeared

Walking and snarling, horror feared

 

Creature crazed by darkened deals

Upon the rack, its story reels

 

Angels intrude with halos worn

Arrive with blazing golden horn

 

Suddenly Mother does awake

Feeling fulfilled from her short break

 

Forgotten, threat of creature spawn

Instead aglow with love’s full dawn

Looking Back

I never touched her.

Not really.

I held her hand

and stroked her blue-veined fingers.

I patted her shoulder

and pulled the gown up around her neck.

But I never touched her.

Not really.

I massaged her arms

and tucked the blankets under her legs.

When she cried in pain

and called for someone, anyone to help,

I never touched her.

Not really.

When tears poured down her cheeks

and tremors shook her skeletal frame,

When she struggled to breathe

and begged for water to moisten her lips,

I never touched her.

Not really.

I never looked into her eyes

or kissed her wrinkled cheek.

I should have held her tightly

and chased away her hallucinations.

I never touched her.

Not really.

When she truly needed a friend

and called for someone, anyone to be near,

When she breathed her last breath

and crossed over to God’s side,

I never touched her.

Not really.

Awakening

When my eyes closed,
Your image remained
For hours and hours
Afterward

You walked my dreams
Blessed me with love
For hours and hours
Through the night

Your arms held me
Your kisses bathed me
For hours and hours
With tenderness

When I awoke
You were at my side
For minutes and minutes
In unity

In awe I stared
Into your eyes
For seconds and seconds
Holding you

We drift through time
In loving moments
For years and years
To eternity

What Could Have Been

I don’t spend time dwelling on

what could have been

if I’d done this or not done that.

 

I don’t lament those events

I missed or the wrong steps I took

As I floundered my way through life.

 

Instead I rejoice

In what I was fortunate enough to do,

and those things that I was a part of,

no matter how small or insignificant

it might have seemed to others.

 

I couldn’t always see

the sunshine due to tears that flooded my eyes,

sorrow that held my face to the ground,

and regrets that froze my feet in place.

 

Periodically the lenses of my eyes opened

and the black curtain parted

allowing a glimmer of light to break through

so that new horizons appeared.

 

Here I am in my twilight years

with dreams still appearing of things

I yearn to do, places I hope to visit,

without ever thinking

about what could have been.

The Stars

If I could catch a single star

I’d hide it in your hair.

Whenever things drag you down

I’d hand you a mirror

And watch the sparkle fill

Your eyes.

 

With both hands reaching

Toward the sky

I’d catch a star in each.

One to plant inside your heart

The other in your soul

Just to brighten your every day.

 

Given time I’d gather a handful

To decorate your life

With joy and mystery enough

To last your whole life through.

 

With a scoop and bucket

I’d sweep them all into a tidy bunch

So that the glorious light constantly

Blooms wherever you train your eyes.

 

But maybe not.

 

If I could catch a single star

That would be enough

To remind you of my steadfast love

Forever burning bright.

 

Missing Him

I wonder where my dad is now?

What country or what town?

Do the people even know he’s there?

And care about his men?

 

I wonder what he’s thinking of

While I stare at the clouds?

Does he see the same sky I see

And smile at the same bright sun?

 

I wonder is he questions

What the war is all about?

Does it make a difference what he does?

And how will it all come out?

 

I wonder when he does come home

Whom will he smile at first?

Do you think he’ll even recognize me

And know that I’m his son?

 

I wonder if he wonders

What I’m thinking of today?

Does he pray for me on bended me

And whisper I love you?

 

Perhaps when he does come home

He’ll have changed in scary ways.

Or maybe he’ll cry tears of joy

Day after wondrous day.

 

Maybe he’ll never share his tales

Of things seen, done and said

For fear of changing how we feel

About our dear old dad.

 

I wonder where my dad is now

And what’s going through his mind.

I hope he pictures me and mom

And yearns to come back home.

 

For now I’ll pray every day

That he’ll survive the war

Return to me as the man I knew

So we’ll be whole once more.