The Nature of the Word

The Nature of the Word

A name called,
a cruelty allowed.
Even the bathroom mirrors
are two-faced.
And we’re told to “settle down.”

And where are you
after all that?

They say salt water,
rising in tides,
smooths,
reshapes and eventually
disintegrates boulders.

It takes centuries,
but eventually, there’s no reminder
of what once stood so boldly,
no echo
for that which never once made sound,
no mourning for what never held breath.

If that stone is struck,
it fissures or breaks,
but it remains;
withstands shipwrecks
and dynamite.

It may be the
forceful attack
that crumbles the spirit, but it is
the constant, recursive nature
that makes it
disappear.

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A Mid-Morning Pastoral

A Mid-Morning Pastoral

Through the double-paned window,
I can see rolling fields,
an old oak tree with full canopy.
The bar connecting my desk surface to the chair
holds me in
as I watch the effects of a subtle breeze
lifting and foxtrotting
a discarded leaf.
Outside,
I know it’s warm and sweet
the kind of mid-morning in late May
when summer is softly peeking
from behind the last weeks of school,
and the dirt is loose and gravelly
just free from the mud.
Somewhere, a kid just like me
is scootering down his street,
similarly different homes lined up along an oak lined street
the shadows and highlights of the sun dappling the ground beneath him.
And somewhere else,
down a hidden dirt path,
past the underbrush of the woods,
right under the flowing branches of a weeping willow,
a kid sits next to his tackle box
mesmerized by the gentle tugging of his fishing line in the river…
And I’m certain that somewhere, there’s a group of kids
“NOT IT”ing just before erupting into a frenzied game of freezetag
and suddenly calling a truce
just long enough to buy rocket pops
after being called by the sweet tinkling tune of the ice cream truck.
It’s the kind of day perfect for
punishing me inside this detention room.