Father, Son, Stars, Loss (for Bobby)

I start to count them and stop
Not because there are too many
But because I cannot hold them
Accountable; the code sparkled
From their eternal glow calls
Me to be accountable to my life:
Precious. Let us look, son,
Out the window in quiet
Prayer for the loss, inexplicable,
That weighs down our hearts
Until sleep pardons us this day.
Tomorrow we can wake and run.

He Rebuilds a Lost Sister (for Jack)

Lost in the supermarket
My special Lego creation
Lost somewhere between
Gummies and hot dogs.

Mommy looked all over
But can’t find it
It’s okay, I’ll build another.
I know I can build another one.

Just two shoulders and arm pieces
A chest shield, two legs and feet
One hand will wield the best sword
In the bin.

This new creation will be cooler –

It will be the coolest.

Almost done!
My best

But I cannot
Find the right mask.

It must have the right mask.
I cannot find the mask.
Daddy help me find a mask.

Daddy, I just want my creation to sit up.
Daddy, I just want my creation to take its first step.
Daddy, I just want my creation to say its first word.
Daddy, I just want my creation to live.

Daddy, please help me
Find the right mask.

Please help me, Daddy,
I need my mask.



We all belong somewhere

I stumble (slip) along a slope
up the mountain I built
but cannot climb
I sit, defeated, until
the silence speaks to me:

“escape to the world within
to stories of romance and adventure
set in the forest behind your house
Ivanhoe and Rowena will come to life and
Peter chase the white witch through Narnia”

I hear the dreams in my head
and weave them into the quilt of a smile
to warm me when winter words chill.
Out of the cold around my soul
and the whispered stories of silence
I design a home.

I belong.

Originally published in The Powhatan Review, Norfolk, VA 2006(ish)