Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners

Late August early mornings
bring the raucous complaints
of a flock of geese overhead.

Their squawks and shrieks
rattle through the air,
breaking the peace,
clattering through the empty skies, 
echoing, 
like a honeymoon-bound car 
with strings of soup cans 
tied to the back bumper,
and a "Just Married" sign, 
taped to the trunk.

The honeymooners travel
with hope and uncertainty,
as the geese do,
to a new season
and a new start.

Geese making travel plans by the lake before taking flight.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Egg Custard Pie

Egg Custard Pie

One creamy, yellow slice of egg custard pie,
freckled with a soft sprinkle of nutmeg,
sitting in the bakery case at the diner, 
reminds me of childhood summers:
of blue sky days and morning glory ways;
of laundry on the line, drying in the breeze;
and dandelions and clover 
dancing to the rumblings of the honeybees.

Out of breath from racing our bikes home,
we take a break on the porch.
We sip lemonade over ice
and watch wispy, white clouds drift by.
We know all is good and all is right
because Mom has just handed us each a plate
with a slice of her homemade egg custard pie,
still warm (topped with whipped cream---piled high.)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Small Town Sounds

 Small Town Sounds

The ropes that raise and lower the flag
clang against the pole.
An old man shuffles along,
clearing his throat, out for a stroll.

Car tires rattle the sewer plate.
The driver is going a little too fast.
A boy delivering newspapers laughs,
when he startles a friend with a bike horn blast.

A bell chimes when someone opens the door
to the Mom and Pop bakery shop.
Two girls giggle and blush, heads bent,
with arms linked; sharing secrets and a soda pop.

The fountain sparkles, gurgles, and splashes
on the lawn of the courthouse square.
A sign hung above the street flaps in the breeze
and invites everyone to the county fair.

Church bells can be heard ringing
a few blocks away,
announcing to the world
a young couple's wedding day.

To an outsider, small town sounds
may not seem like much,
but they tell the stories of the people there
and  the lives they touch.

Monday, August 3, 2015

By the Numbers

By the Numbers

You live your whole life by the numbers.
Everything's counted, measured, and weighed.
You can't control the hand you're dealt,
but you can decide how your cards are played.

Anticipating your arrival,
your parents eagerly await.
Nine months to plan and ponder.
A new baby, a new life to celebrate.

Once you are born,
you are weighed and measured,
Those numbers are written down, 
remembered, and treasured.

You learn to talk and walk,
and then you learn to count.
Add, subtract, multiply, divide:
it's so important to find the amount.

You fly through years of school
trying to get the right scores and make the grade.
So you can get in college, get a degree,
and get a job where you are well-paid.

You realize you have to take care of the bills
and your family in order to succeed.
Mortgage, utilities, car loans, insurance, 
home repairs, and mouths to feed.

Your health matters too!
Check your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Watch your sugar. Watch your weight.
Count your steps and your calories.
Take your pulse. Check your heart rate!

If you work enough years, you get to retire.
Senior discounts save you a dime.
A fixed income sets your limits.
You know what's important,
but you're running out of time.

Your years are many. You are old and wise.
But just when you think you know the score,
your number comes up,
and suddenly... you don't count anymore.

The difference you leave behind is all that counts
when that final date is carved into stone.
While you are here, your life touches many, 
and the legacy you leave is yours alone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Old-fashioned Ways


Old-fashioned Ways

Old-fashioned ways
and long ago days
drift through the clouds in my mind.
Manners and modesty,
grammar and honesty:
when did we leave these behind?

Honeysuckle and hollyhocks,
the ticking of clocks,
dresses with a bit of lace.
I remember drinking root beer floats,
and folding newspaper hats and boats,
back when homemade was commonplace.

Neighbors shared their hydrangea blues,
but not their political views,
and maintained respect for the rights of others.
It was a simpler age,
but now we've turned the page,
if only we had listened to our mothers.



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Memories

Memories

Memories suddenly appear,
sneaking up on you 
from the rear.
They push you up higher and higher
as if you were on a swing 
at the playground.

They play on a screen in your head
like a motion picture show.
They stir up emotions and swirl them around, 
and then as quickly as they came, they go.

They arrive at your door uninvited.
Some you welcome with surprise and delight.
Others you slam the door against 
to protect yourself from the sadness they bring.
They cling to your spirit
the way darkness clings to night. 

A song, a smell, a color, a well-turned phrase. 
Anything can be a trigger to reminisce.
Each one takes you back to people and times in the past.
Some that you long for.
Some that you really don't miss.


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Speaking of memories, my friend Cary has written a fun list of pop culture memory triggers from the 1970's, 80's, and 90's. If you have a minute, click here and see how many you remember.  


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Little Things

Little Things

Safety pins and buttons,
paper clips and strings,
nuts and bolts, nails and staples,
and other little things.

You might not even notice them
because they are so small,
but little things hold the world together.
They matter most of all.

Smiles and kind words,
and other gestures of good will
don't take much effort;
don't require a lot of skill.

But others will take note of them
and be quick to recall
the kindness that was shown to them--
it makes a difference to us all.