No spark

Tomorrow’s wishes

lie at the bottom of a fountain

that’s not been turned on

so nobody pays attention.

The bird atop is frozen, mid-squawk,

awaiting a liftoff that will never come.

Embers keep the feet shuffling

when the air is still, quiet

and the pain is tolerable,

the fatigue growing near.

Counting steps or minutes is a waste

as is describing fire as it goes out.

I found where most of the dust motes 

from childhood daydreaming went: 

they’re in my chest, floating, gaining 

traction against all odds, 

making the bleak landscape seem 

touched with enough magic 

to make long drives and small tasks 

bearable or at least not fruitless.

Grappling

I didn’t think songs about home 

would hurt. I thought time 

would erase the lashings, 

the panic, the ensuing numbness… 

I was hoping to laugh at my scars 

like they did on the Orca in “Jaws.” 

I didn’t know I would struggle to 

overcome my own tendencies. 

I knew I was small. I know I will 

laugh and be sad and try 

until I don’t have to. I didn’t know 

home was a mythical place 

near the sternum.

push the clouds into the pond

and let flowers fall

or rise with the moonlight

let crickets rejoice

(they will go on regardless)

Not the gloaming

It’s taken almost a full day 

for me to come to grips 

with the buzzing in my belly. 

I don’t know what it is 

but it’s a reminder I’m not 

dead yet anyway. 

I think it had something 

to do with the big storm 

last night that cut our power. 

As I laid dormant beneath much fleece, 

I had trouble counting blessings 

because little terrors kept flying in 

like cows and trailers in a tornado. 

I thought about comets, potato recipes, 

and wondered why that fancy office 

chooses to smell like urinal cakes. 

I gave thanks for my working legs 

which I test now and again by 

walking to where there’s more tea 

and I bemoaned the lack of humility 

in youth sports – parents anyway. 

I asked myself how I could make the most 

of each day as I whipped through 

another game of Words With Friends. 

I feel like this is life in-between. 

I’m not stuck in the past but 

I’m not too ambitious about the future.