A chanting mourning dove

drives the knees.

A prayer of no words.

Groans prostrate like

shadows at sunrise.

The stasis of loss.


“Therein lies the tension.”
Some minute barrier
between last night’s rain
and the wood planks.

I’ve noticed patches
where moisture
slips through the
worn walkway.

Oil lifted by one
step after another.
Carried off on the soles.
Beads no longer form,

those tears soak in
to be trampled again
and again, pressed in
to the grain, against the grain.

Now in the midday solace,
when the deck is dry,
its aching creaks
can be heard under the din.

For those whose tears aren’t strong enough to bead up in the tension, whose souls have no oils between what is and the hope of what could be, I’ve come back to these two words time and again:

“Jesus wept.”

Something’s Missing

A few days ago the sun cracked
a half smile like my father did.

The clouds were like eye patches
and I remember his weeping eye.

Partially sewn lids of paralyzed sight
gave him shallow depth perception.

My brother-in-law’s Bell’s Palsy
grinned at me yesterday.

One corner down, one corner up,
his mouth surfaced memories

of my father’s permanent condition.
A tumor stole half of Dad’s face

decades before he died.
I was frustrated I couldn’t find

one of his fifty percent photo’s,
portraits of two faces in one.

I found myself trying to get
Tim to laugh throughout

the day as we worked
just to incite a smirk or laugh.

I wanted to see my Dad’s
look again and again.

By the end of yesterday
I found I missed him.

Without a Word. When Grief Is A Silent Embrace.

She sobbed into my chest
and loss sent an arrhythmia
I once knew.

Between beats, regrets thrummed
over the irregular thoughts.
Synapse stuttered memories.

She lost her friend without a goodbye.
My mother whispered,
“Hold her for a while.”

For Monica

Sometimes just a hug will do.