For You

The raised hand
Your failed attempt to peel away
Your own skin
It was too tough
Calloused
Trapped in
You wouldn’t
You couldn’t let me in
The closest thing
To an open door
Left me jaw-dropped
My words scattered
On the floor
In a panic
An ill-informed attempt
At balance
I juggled my duties
My fears
My phone line therapies
In another room
So that you couldn’t see me
Weak
When all I should’ve been
Was in the room
Next to you

Traverse

In this traverse
‘cross rocky creek bed
I attempt to land
Disoriented footfalls
On stepping-stones
To avoid this water
That flows beneath
And around my missteps
For though I cannot pierce
The same stream twice
Its persistent loop carries with it
His ghosts which are
Also mine
Just as in time stoicism
Formed a divide
My regretful apologies
Have been muted by
A vanishing point
That stands between
The reality he kept inside
And the fabric and the holes
In the humanity that I
Am now bound to wear
Traversing this creek bed
Forevermore

Behind

They slither in through
The cracks in the pavement
Unannounced and unhindered
Sometimes in sync
Other times out of sorts
Between
Before and after
The footfalls that
One in front of the other
Land on the
Still cold and wet ground
Where you left me
Behind

Their procession began
In the hours between
Your raised hand
And the last flickers
Of a mind that I didn’t
That I don’t
That I may never understand
From the labored breaths
Heralding the watch’s end
Onward into my nights’ darkness
And the shadow cast upon my days
Like the knocked-out wind
By a relentless flurry of blows
Again and again I am
Subjected to the tightening grip
Beneath the surface
Of all that I can’t leave
Behind

Wheels

In that early morning hour

Of the only night

That winter chose to bite

The wheels left tracks

In a thin layer of snow

From the back door past

The reach of the porch light

Into the dark

Of little consequence

A business transaction

Complete

With an appointment made

For later

In the day

To seal the fate

Of the broken jar

The gurney carried

But that you

Left

Behind

It was the tracks

In the snow that continued on

In my mind

As I drove home

The singer sang

“Let Jesus lead you,

Let Jesus lead you,

Let Jesus lead you

All the way

All the way 
Lord

From earth to heaven

Let Jesus lead you

All the way”