The Door

(August 1977)

The door knob is dented.
The door is closed,
Waiting to be opened.
It remains darkened
And musty behind it.

It is opened.
Clothes hanging,
All well used.
Coats and jackets.
And books.

Cramped and dusty;
An old grads’ gown.
And more books,
About years gone-by.
Moments and memories.

An American flag;
Holes and tatters.
Broken high-heel shoe.
Stamps from 20 years ago.
And an old shoe-shine kit.

Pictures of people not remembered,
Letters someone had forgotten.
An moths.
And old moth balls
Both powdered away.

Old loves,
And future lives.
Echoing the past,
Calling the future.
Living storage.

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Locked Out

“Open the door,” Adam yelled, “Before I smash it in!” He stood on the outside of the trailer after I had tricked him into stepping outside to fight.

Within minutes we heard him get in his car and drive away. By that time though the meal was completely ruined as the dinner table had been turned upside down and nobody felt like eating anyway.

“Is your knee okay?” Mom asked me. She had noticed that I hobble over to the counter as soon as Adam drove off.

“Yeah, but he stomped on top of my foot,” I answered.

I was sitting down on the sofa by then pulling the boot off my right foot. Adam had tried to step on my right knee but I had been just quick enough to dodge the blow yet slow enough to get myself severely stomped on.

I looked as Mom and Del, asking them, “Are you guys okay?”

Del replied, “Yup.”

He had taken the main blow from the table as Adam flipped it over. He managed to jump up and step in front of Mom as the heavy oak top came crashing downward where she had been sitting. It bounced off of his back and onto the ground as Adam and I prepared to duke it out.

“How about you, Kyle?” Grandma asked as she looked at her grandson.

He didn’t say anything but rather shook his head that he was okay.

Then I said, “I’m sorry about all this.”

“No need to apologize,” replied Del. Then he added, “You were in the right asking him not to use that language.”

He was talking about the fact that Adam had been using the “F-word” in front of his four year old nephew while at the dinner table.

I reflected back to a few minutes ago, “Adam, please don’t say that in front of Kyle.”

He had asked his brother twice before not to say that particular word because he was certain the child would go home and say it in front of his mother.

On the third request Adam exploded and lifting the table up to get at me. It flipped over nearly injuring Mom.

He attacked me by trying to break my knee, missing it by a fraction but smashing my foot. He continued to rush after me until I ended up inviting him outside.

Once Adam stepped outside, I closed the sliding glass door and locked it. It was the only way I could think to get him out of the house without tearing our parent’s home apart.

Kayaking the Smith

(August 1977)

White water.
Faster.
Harder.
Ice water
And rocks.

Riffles,
Big
And small,
Bouncing the little kayak.
Throwing it about.

Down,
Then up again.
Twisting
In tormented waters
And hidden rocks.

Crashing.
Dashing in the water.
Sinking,
Rolling the raft about.
Finished.

It’s done.
Thank God!
The kayak is gone,
Fractured and disappeared.
But you have survived.

Michelle’s Doll

(July 1977)

Blond hair;
Knotted and snarled.
Blue eyes,
Only one leg.
Thirteen years old.

Her doll;
Since she was two.
It’s no good.
But it’s highly prized.
Memorable value.

She says she’ll throw it away,
But she won’t.
She can’t.
It hurts to much.
Throw out a piece of life?

Remembering.
All smiles.
The feedings,
Rocking it to sleep.
Feeling foolish over it.

Thirteen years old
And still around.
A lot of time.
Yet jus’ a lovable,
Even with only one leg.

Down On the Pier

(July 1977)

Past the gate,
Up the walk way.
Forward.
Walking.
Advancing slowly.

Her and I.
Hand in hand.
Watching the sea,
As well as each other.
Quiet.

Waves,
Crashing over the wall.
Spraying us.
Wet,
But we don’t care.

Onward,
In the distance,
begging gulls.
Crying,
As they take flight.

The end-most of the pier.
We sit on the edge.
Watching a busy world.
It passes
And we don’t care.

The Dissidents

(May 1977)

Dissidents.
Soviets’
As well as Jewish.
International pawns.
Pawns in a game.

Olympians they are not.
Spies.
Espionage.
A deadly game;
Not a sport.

Convicted,
Against their nation.
Eight hard years
And more.
Trapped.

The world is shocked.
Appalling;
Human rights rejected.
People will rally;
Praying for freedom.

Freedom fighters?
Revolutionists?
Without weapons,
Yet dying
An uncertain death.

The Cracked Windshield

It happened somewhere around Santee, California. I am not certain, because I was actually lost.

It had been a number of years since I had driven those freeways in southern California and I missed an exit and long before I knew it I was miles off course. I ended up with a large crack in my windshield.

I had to live with that crack for a month before my insurance could take care of it.

For a month! It started to wear on me.

Everyday I went out to my truck to go to work and there it would be. However, it also caused me to think.

It made me realize was living a life of routine. I had gotten lost on the highway, taken the wrong turn so to speak and ended up with damage to my truck.

This took me out of my comfort zone. If I apply that to my life it would be the same and it made me uncomfortable and I did not like it.

That is what was really bothering me about the crack. Many times in my life I have ventured down life’s highway, gotten lost and found myself in a position of physical, emotional or spiritual damage.

It was time for me to learn from that cracked windshield.

There was simple beauty to be had in it if I just opened my heart up to it. Then it occurred to me that during his short three and a half year ministry Jesus Christ spent much of his time devoted to the healing of the sick and the lame.

In fact in Matthew 9:11-12, “…Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

We are all sick, because we are all sinners. There is only one who has ever been perfect and he died so that cracked windshields like you and me could find salvation not our comfort zones.