alleyways

One brother is spending the week in silence.
One brother is spending the week in Amsterdam.
These are not metaphors.

I am spending my week in an alley amongst the dumpsters and broken glass and who knows what that is on the ground

Somewhere between weeping and not weeping.

This is metaphor

And knowing myself like I do,
Since I have spent a good portion of my time in this alley,
It has been swept clean and the dumpsters have been lined up just so and the whatever that was has been washed away.
And I have probably made friends with a cunning rat or two and helped some homeless dude find lodging.

All this is metaphor.

Grief puts you in unexpected geography,
Locales not usually associated with your life.
And you spend a lot of time there,
Weeping and wishing you would stop weeping then thinking, okay, I have stopped weeping
Just to start all over again.

Some of this is metaphor.

And the alley is someplace.
I mean alleys are always the in between places.
The places that separate there from over here.

And all that may or may not be metaphor.
I’m not sure.

smudged ashes

176

Soot colored snow
drifts along the frozen roads,
ice covered and tangled
with asphalt and salt.
Smudged ashes
from the Lenten service
seep deep into my forehead,
gaining traction on the slick roads
that lie ahead –
self control and penance,
penitence and prayer.
Monk-like, I long for the cave
of solitude and singular thought.
Life fills in all the edges of my mind,
rolling the stone over the tomb,
guarding from reflection
in ice covered waters
or the certainty of resurrection
in the blooming of Christ’s wounds
on the hillsides of spring.

Burned Bridges

Burned Bridges

Self reflection doesn’t become me
It gets lost in weeds of regret and yesterdays
That cannot change
No matter the tears
Branches off in petty arguments
With a younger visage
Who did this or such
Before I could change her path
I know why each thought was thought and why
Each river was forded before
The burned Bridges
With not a care for those left in the eddies
Of marsh grasses and cattails
Awareness of self with all ego
And subterfuge
Understanding each calculated deception
And artifice
Takes too much
Patience
And more than is possible
Forgiveness