Skeletal Soul

Stark and excellent leafless tree variegated fatigue
Patterned bark covering thick powerful trunk twins awe
Struck skeletal soul surprises (death becomes you beautiful
Lifeless giant) why did you go? Who mourns your

Passing as frolicking lush spring green surrounds
Delighting in wondrous newness sprouting new leaves
Before patient eyes thickening scrub flowering evolving
Please remember past cooling shade shadows cast

Broad reach no more still standing tall reminding those who
Listen of transitory mortality temporary presence quiet
Or loud departure watchtower fixed firm awaiting
Inevitable hollowing decay past strength forever gone

Listen

Today I sat next to a woman while attending a closing for a transaction we’d worked on together for months. We had met in person only once before, but had exchanged dozens of emails and had many brief phone conversations.

She was always rushed, often harsh. I liked that she didn’t waste time. It was easy to see that she’d never be pushed around. I liked that too. I’d always tried to be clear and concise when we spoke. There was no spare time.

Today her face was tired. She’d arrived late for the meeting, not apologizing when she entered but saying “I hate GPS”. She had come from a distance, another meeting. She had more meetings following ours.

Our part of the closing was brief, and there was time to talk. I commented about how busy she was. She looked me in the eye for the first time. Then she leaned toward me and whispered, “A dear friend called me this morning and said ‘happy belated mothers day’. I was puzzled. I thought it was strange. I tentatively said ‘thanks…’ Then my friend said ‘did you get the message I left for you? Bill died on Sunday” Bill was her husband, He died two days ago”

Slowly, she softly said, “I had seen that she called, but I hadn’t had a chance to listened to her message…”

Where is protect and serve?

The unforgettable images of Walter Scott being shot down dead, eight hate-filled shots in the back, play in a loop in my head. Unconsciously, my face contorts with the pain I feel in my heart. Where was protect and serve when handcuffs were placed on dying wrists? Where was protect and serve when the killer, to damn the dead, dropped the stun gun? Where was protect and serve when aid was withheld from the dying? How does a broken taillight become a murder? How does a walk to buy candy end with a boy shot dead? How does selling cigarettes end in a death choke on a city sidewalk? Drop the blinders America. BLACK LIVES MATTER must be the refrain of our time until it’s no longer perilous to be a black man in our country.