Six Minutes and Twenty Seconds

Six Minutes and Twenty Seconds

The generosity of silence
Spreads as ripples on a pond or light waves
Fresh and sweet as the tears on a childs face.

We are left holding hands and signs in crayon and tempera,
That point the way forward with few
Yellow caution lights but no flashing red

Sparks from muzzles or fireworks from the halls
Of Congress. Yes, the children will lead us
Because we have fallen on our own swords

And left them wandering in the desert,
Only to water it green with their tears.

*For the brave young people from Parkland and their March for Our Lives

bar ditches (Palm Sunday)

spring ridge

Driving along the ridge,
Bright sun in a cold sky,
The bar ditch is filled with the first blush of spring.
Effervescent purple henbit covers the ground,
Weeds of childrens delight,
First bouquets of the season.

When my nieces were babes,
These weeds were their favorite flower until their father
Mowed the yard,
Decimating their wild flower garden and bringing bereft tears.

Did my grandfather tell me the story of why we call the ditches
Along the roadside ‘bar ditches’?
The dirt was borrowed ‘bar-red’
To raise the road, flattened for the wagons then model Ts
To travel above the fields.

Memory sometimes obscures the truth.

I remember that my father died on Palm Sunday,
Though it is not the truth.
But that is the memory I keep.
And it is Palm Sunday once again,
Not the date of his leave taking
But still the day I grieve.

And it is the first day of spring,
The day I remember my nieces’ grief
Over the heaped green weeds across their yard.

On this day, memory, unreliable and exact,
Borrows the joy before the grief…

Its the first of spring and all the birds sing
And little children palm frond process
Waving welcome the King.

(revised 2018)