Still He Draws

Mind stalled, synapses off kilter
gait pained by age and atrophy,
he swings a chalk bucket
as we walk our weekly walk.

Stopped to watch scurrying ants
he stoops, putting chalk to sidewalk.
Hopscotch numbers beyond his grasp
he draws a simple sun, one cloud.

Standing, he pats my face
grins at me, then bends again.
Clutching pink chalk, draws a string
attached to one pink balloon.

Chalk tossed aside, he lowers himself
shifts bony frame uncomfortably
until he is perfectly placed,
as if holding that pink string.

Eyes tight shut, he lies still
floating in his muddled mind,
beside the cloud and sun.
And I smile wistfully.

I picture him a young boy
spent from playing tag,
drawing this sidewalk scene
lying down just like this . . .

then jumping up to run away,
an entire life in front of him.
Not bumbling to recognize me,
needing a helping hand.

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My nephew posted this photo of his son quite some time ago on FB. I loved the photo and asked permission to use it some day on my poetry blog. This little boy is a wonderful bright, lively and imaginative child! I went to a place with this poem that I wasn’t expecting.
Posting for OLN (Open Link Night) at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today that famous guy from Sweden, Bjorn, is still revelling in the summer solstice season and Sweden’s advancement in the World Cup! 

the player

scabby knees squat low
agate rolled in sweaty palms
spit for extra luck
cold marbles wait for quick hit
king of the hood at six, shoots

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A tanka (5 lines with the following syllabic pattern: 5-7-5-7-7) written for Misky’s Twiglet #82, “cold marble”. A twiglet is a short phrase meant to inspire writing. Perhaps someday all our children will only shoot marbles. 

Haibun of Bygones

In the neighborhood where we raised our children, there was a beautiful weeping willow in the front yard next door. Our children loved to have picnic lunches beneath its low bowing branches. Other times, all the children in the area gathered and played tag, running in and out of the green lacey-leafed cascading curtains, sometimes tripping on the roots that made the ground lumpy beneath its shade. Laughter abounded around the tree.

The only day it earned its name was the day the arborists came. They sawed it into pieces. Drilled out its heart-stump, and carted it all away. My children watched the scene in horror and cried their hurt that night as we sat at the dinner table. Mother nature wept her disappointment in a summer evening storm. Strands of weeping branches littered our street, until the street cleaner arrived early one morning and swept all evidence away.

birds sing sweet sorrow
weeping willow cracks in grief
earth disrobed by man

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Thursday is Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Gail is hosting and asks us to come imbibe some words and post one poem of our choice – no prompt given. We’re a friendly bunch. Come enjoy!