Righting history

Another bride, another June, another sunny honeymoon
Another season, another reason for makin’ whoopee

~Cole Porter

It’s hot. The folding metal chairs
we sit on could at least make toast,
if not fry eggs.

We offer up our copious sweat
to the new, pulled into being
amidst the passing of the old.

The bride and groom trip happily
through their vows, and voila!
Two become one; the groom kisses the bride.

Later, at the Cutting of the Cake,
the inexhaustible cameras re-appear.
“No more kissing,” says the lip-weary bride.

He kisses her anyway, for good measure.
No one mentions dying.
We go home, fat and content.

Self portrait

A man stands by a roadside,
the sky the shape of an onion,
one layer of cloud after another,
the point of coincidence
with the earth
too pale to define, and
the very idea of definition
is hazy, suspect.

The road … is there,
that’s all that can be said of it
with any assurance.
It is neither appealing
nor repulsive, there are no signs
telling of its ends
in either direction, there is little
to recommend it.

This man can be anyone — you,
your father, someone you knew
long ago but have forgotten,
a pope, a salesman, an original
thinker, a fraud, maybe
all of those at once.

What distinguishes him
is this time, this place,
the relentless now
and the slowly setting sun.

A Mothers Day poem

In winter, the stars
Can suck the light
Right out of the sky.
It must have been like that
The night I was born
In the camp,
Although I had no clue
About that kind of thing.

My brothers, already ancient
Thought the bombed-out
Staircases, leading only up
And nowhere else,
Were built that way on purpose,
For them to play on,
And inevitably jump or fall,
Gravity victorious after all.

Children can’t be disappointed,
Having expected nothing.
Children think hunger
Is normal, pain is life,
And deprivation obvious.

Mothers aren’t like that.
They only wish their children
Could long for something.