Pressing

Gleaming purple dream come true
It was the hand brakes that got me
Unconsciously pedaling while braking
Complaining about faulty brakes
Clenched hands battling pressing legs

Do I approve of the press?
Of course, the answer is no
Certainly also the answer is moot
Inescapably pressing
The omnipresent foe
And always the hero of my story

Closing Eyes

Her closing eyes resonated suffering, dismay, sadness and the deepest sense of empathy, The old white woman simultaneously revealed all those emotions along with an ocean’s depth of despair. She demonstrated each feeling in a slow deliberate closing when she listened to the account.

Immigration officers in flak jackets raided the mushroom house in the next town over. They took away eight terrified workers, foraging elbow deep in compost, in a handcuffed line. It was a different eight taken than the four who were sought.
In the panic and despair no one checked the warrant. Or checked for a warrant for that matter. Actual details were sketchy but of this it was clear. The owner had shuffled in the shadowy space, speaking noncommittal mumblings wondering who would grub tomorrow. And tomorrow wide-eyed brown children waited pointlessly for parents who were not coming home.

The old white woman absorbed the account in despair and submerged in a silent meditation for love.
And a silent prayer for empathy.
And she silently raged against all that’s gone missing in this callous cruel time.

Patriots

We boil over with dumbfounded outrage
Stumbling disoriented in our disbelief
Feeling blindly for reason in the absurd
Maze of bigoted hate devoid of decency
While Camus chuckles “I-told-you-so”

We convulse uncontrollable gushing tears
In disbelief as swift hateful actions spawn
Tsunami waves flooding our cherished values
Rampaging an unknown path of Un-American
Torture casually threatening our morality

We resist hate and division as patriots
Screaming loudly “inclusion and justice for all”
Crowding terminal prisons with stalwart
Intention roaring for decency stretching toward
Downtrodden refugees huddled, tired and poor

We deliver freshly born shaky legged protestors
Born out of need ascending steep escalator
Canals flooded with brave pink-hatted women
And men who tightly grab loving hands and kindness
Fresh-minted activists homemade signs held high

Winged Sisyphus

Our warm tight sanctuary
Home

Our safe place from the horrifying
Turn our world has taken toward
Exclusion and hate daily
Disturbed

Azure feckless bluebird’s head-butt
Repeatedly flying torpedo style
Banging the huge clear glass
Futility

A winged Sisyphus’ hopeless effort
A beautiful kamikaze fowl missile

While taking up residence
Offered in loving charity
The vibrant flock observes
Unmoved

A bird-brain suicide

Silently
Complacently
Complicitous
Watching
Another
Senseless
Demise

Evil

When they reported his sentence
15 months
What I heard was 15 years (because that would make more sense)
My first thought
That’s not long enough
For running a crushing freight train through children’s lives
But it was only 15 months
15 months
There’s actually a statute of limitations
On destroying innocence
Crushing trust
Stomping out optimism
Planting a vile boot print on a half formed soul
This hateful man preyed on children
While wielding power
And haughtily peering down
Casting judgment
The portrait of hypocrisy
And evil
15 months

Perspective

When he was 8 he always wore a hat
Never took it off it was a fight and struggle
For his mother who was partial to pink
And flounces of pink everything pink
Or should I say she always wore a hat?
That’s how we’d have described it then
That’s the part (one part) that’s hard when
Talking about the past is it she or he?
Because this person we love was she to us
If not (secretly) to himself for all those years

The hat was a problem at the school where kids
Were not allowed to wear hats to class
Back then I used to take him/her (you can see why
“They” and “ them” is preferred to he or she
But for a family where grammar and language
Is important the struggle to pluralize the singular
Is nearly impossible) along on work appointments
I’d call at 3 when he got home from school and say
I have to drive to Coatesville or Newark
I’d pick him up and he’d ride along in his hat

One clear full moon night when he was 5
He rode with me from my parents’ house
(His grand-parents house) to pick up
A pizza and we watched the moon follow the car
I told him about perspective from my 30-year
Old perspective he understood and I marveled at
His understanding of point of view and difference

In that year of the hat when he was 8 he asked
His father if they knew any gay people
“Susan’s gay” surprisingly this came as a surprise to him
Rendering him silent for a day “what’s the matter?”
“Everyone says I’m like Susan and I don’t want to be gay”

Later, queer was his word not gay or lesbian I didn’t
Understand at the time but now it’s clear like
The hat he wouldn’t remove for a year when we all
Tried to find hats for him that matched our
Perspective for a girl in 1990 when he was always a boy