You loved your mama
through her piercing sorrows
those manic joys, those ill-considered choices
those spun-on dreams of finding love
in deceitful cold hearts wed to despicable hot hands.

All this while
your own sweet soul was pure
your generous warmth
held mama close
loving her, cherishing her.

Bliss should have been her mantra
for you were so innocent and kind
you loved her so, regardless.

Mama knows that now
sees that now
feels it now
every day
she cannot undo what was done
she cannot envelop
the boy you were then
into her grateful arms
to hold you for an eternity.

Had she only done moreā€¦

All she can do
is love you now
and yet
your love still pours forth
your colorful recollection of those gray-stock days
tinged with fondness, good cheer and gratitude.

Mama cannot comprehend
how she came to deserve
the stellar son you were then,
the fine young man you are today.

My poem, In My Father’s Office, as recently published in the Iowa Poetry Association’s 2018 Lyrical Iowa ~

In my father’s office

sunlight bursts through an eastern window
veined in cobwebs caked in sawdust.

Last year’s Miss December
dangles from the pegboard,
her curled corners cradling dead flies.
A cant hook, its handle splintered,
rests against a tired door frame.
Two large saw blades
await sharpening,
teeth blunted
from repeated contact
with prized walnut logs.

An unorthodox home
for a monstrous red geranium,
four feet tall and just as wide,
thriving on my father’s near neglect.

Mom’s green thumb
was never able to match
daddy’s indifference.

Copies of Lyrical Iowa 2018 can be ordered via the IPA website: