Ukraine

I saw them through the open window. Spring brought them to my life and I felt life within me. A flight of geese pounding through the air breasts beating, hearts honking, wings cleaving all eternity toward me as I stood astonished and rushed outdoors to cheer them on their way. Winter came. The house burned. Machines pushed my life, my hopes, my labor, my love into a ditch. But when the wind blows through open windows now and I remember oh so vividly the sight, the smell, the sounds of all everything is meant be be I long for heaven where once I lived to see the way I thought it ought to be. ♥

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Pair of Queens

Although I have a fine sensibility for tradition, honor and luxury, I make a choice, having seen two queens approaching their respective one hundredth birthdays. One in a palace with a crown, surrounded by pomp and circumstance, protected and revered and another wearing a babushka in a damp cellar hiding from the bombs, illuminated by a candle, accompanied only by her daughter who swears, “You will live to be one hundred. I swear.” Two regal women. One in Buckingham. The other in Mariupol. Perhaps they are the same. Perhaps they are created equal in the eyes of God. First let me carry a crown into the basement for one to wear, then a worn out scarf for the other to wear upon the throne. ♥

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Matriculation

What you do is send your soul off to school. You know the day will come. You dread it in a way, selfishly wanting the child to stay at home, but you know there comes a time. So all neatly dressed and ready as you’ll ever be, shoes without a scuff, Big Chief pad, two pencils and a pink eraser, clutch of coins for lunch or sandwich in a bag and off you go. What you do is learn. It doesn’t matter what, but learn some subject other than yourself so fine and heretofore unknown you fall in love with learning and the subject grows within your soul until you’re filled almost to the top and overflow. Then your soul comes back to you with a report card you’ll have to sign and homework and questions you can’t answer and you will be so proud, because your soul is becoming […]

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I Saw Wonderful Things

Once I drove a school bus in Iowa. Quite a few times, actually, over a number of years. Out in the wild, wide places of time and place long, long ago and I had four little boys who rode my bus. The Vlegers. Their last name was Vleger as I recall and cannot forget and they always smelled of soap and bacon, because their mother always sent them off to school clean and well fed and they were well behaved, perfect little gentlemen of various little sizes in the seats of my bus. I drove Number 15. Their mother, a big handsome farm wife, would stand with arms folded watching them walk down to the bus in the morning or back from the bus in the afternoon, like a hawk, stern and vigilant and loving of her brood and they had a little sister, a golden haired cherub too young […]

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Florentino

There is a man who places linen and silverware on tables. He places linen and silverware on tables. That is what he does where people sit and eat. They spoil the linen and soil the silverware and they leave. This man removes once crisp linen and not too long ago spotless silverware and once again places immaculate linen and gleaming silverware upon tables for people once again to do what they do all day long and into the night. He insists the linen be right side up. The factory label must not show. There is right and wrong for even linen and knives and forks and spoons must be exact a certain distance from the table edge. He uses his first and middle finger side by side to measure the distance and napkins, but of course, he folds to pyramids just so. If no one sits where he has worked […]

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Titanic

Remember all those throes upon the slanting deck. Place yourself where you are placed by destiny and behold the craven acts of others, the heroics of some and take your measure upon the stage about to sink beneath your feet. Strike out, survive and live to tell what life meant when life sank unsinkable below the inexhaustible waves. ♠

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Song To The Moon

Tell your people you love them. Once long ago I rode through the night and the radio brought me this message in a song. Dvorak’s Song to the Moon from the opera Rusalka. I cannot play it for you here, but when I heard it then the message came clear. Tell your people you love them. I called my sisters. I told them to do what I had heard. Soon thereafter our parents passed away. First one then the other. Tell your people you love them. Listen to the music and do not hesitate. Do not hesitate to lift your voice in song, for sooner or later the music will stop for you, for them, for us and the empty stage will give no further satisfaction to the audience when once the concert is over. Tell your people you love them. Perhaps they will listen. Perhaps they will reply. In […]

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I Stopped For Green

There I sat, waiting for the light, absorbed in me. Oh the thoughts, the uninvited guests to my morbid feast, the unwelcome sons of bitches that have spoiled so many parties I’ve tried to throw, the bullies of my soul. I looked up and realized the light had gone to yellow. That means I stopped for and sat through the green. Silly me. I drove off smiling, chuckling, then laughed out loud. I wonder how many times I’ve done that in my life. Silly me.   ♥

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Comrades

Old friends, the time has come for us to part. I’ve worn you out, for all the times I’ve worn you out there working. Toes scuffed down to safety steel. Paint splattered on your desiccated uppers. How many laces did I break? Soles worn through completely like mine from time to time and me still standing on my own. We stood so much together, dizzy heights and mucky depths, laces wrapped twice tight around my ankles, knotted with a double bow. Adieu. Take your rest. You’re no good to me anymore. But I am good for something yet and I will do what I must do today. I bought myself a brand new pair of boots. ♠

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Horizon Line

I come to where I started, ‘neath night and day travailed between the stars and earth, a birth canal of freedom into a world known only to the Maker and to me. I stand now where I started upon bended knee, not in subjugation, but in homage to all I’ve seen. This line, this commencement, this necessary portal must be opened, must be crossed until I once more stand before an unknown world and venture forth. ∞

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