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.

Sky and water

Water and sky indecisive,
light flitting around corners,
thunder mumbling curses,
a low energy kind of day

I recall a day exactly
like this, so long ago,
when we walked between the drops
to the 10th Street Pool Hall

to lay our fortunes down
on the Steepleton tables,
greener than any pasture,
leather pockets yawning.

Entire lives were spent
and measured in racks of nine;
I still hear the clack
between the thunder claps.

In the end, we walked out the door
pockets empty, hearts full,
into the long shadows
of the waiting sullen universe.

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.