battle scar

There’s a bruise on my left knee
That just won’t heal

A battle scar
From autumn last

A time when phones and fuel
Were treasured fare
Reminder of a journey past

A pressure point
A souvenir

Driving home through ground zero
Reminds me there’s so far to go


happy anniversay?

happy anniversary?

there’s no power in the date
it’s just a number
so are 3, 4 and 5
and those mattered a bit

it’s been a year
how are we supposed to feel?
what are we supposed to do?

try and forget

she said, he barely remembers our anniversary! why the hell would we celebrate this?

what’s the appropriate gift after a year?
that would be nice
still waiting on that check

forgive me if I don’t eat the top tier
never agreed to this relationship

after one full rotation

They’re finally home
They couldn’t stay

so, what will You do?

she’ll paint her new walls
he’ll share that new song
she’ll light a candle to remember her mom
he’ll hold his babies close because he can
they’ll share a meal and look at the stars

think I’ll let my grass grow and go to the sea

it’s okay to mourn
or praise
or go about a normal day
because you almost can

the survivor’s rule book blew away
there was no wrong way to start
there’s no right way to remember
no way to forget

You’re here
I’m here
See me
I’ll listen
And we will travel this uneven road



In the cone again
Uncertainty reigns

We have a state of emergency
Shaped like a gun 

Can’t we shoot it away
In self defense?

Standing our ground
Still broken and bare

Overreacting or underprepared?

Can’t bear a rerun
We’ve seen this show

1, 2, 3, Not it
We don’t wish it on you

Our triangle trees still
bowing in awe

A constant reminder
Nature’s one flaw

What if?
Surely not

Mother’s not that cruel

Keep calm and carry on
And on and on



I don’t own a gun
I’ve never really had the desire
I don’t hunt
I don’t shoot skeet
I’ve shot a BB gun, but I don’t own one
My son has a dozen Nerf guns
We played with them yesterday
It was fun
Is that part of the problem?

I’m a soldier’s son
We did not have guns in the house
We were taught that you don’t point a gun at something unless you intend to destroy it

What makes someone
want to destroy people completely?
Innocent people
People they don’t even know

I’d never wanted a gun to protect
my family and property
I have a baseball bat for that
When I was lying in the darkest dark
With no 911
I finally understood
The deep desire to be able to protect my people and property
I don’t want to forget that feeling
That may be key to compromise
I still don’t want a gun
I get it

A few weeks ago I had my first lockdown
Got an emergency text
The word became flesh
We locked the doors and hid the kids
Until all was clear
Then went back to work
Like it was no big deal
It was

I wept for Columbine
I couldn’t process Sandy Hook
Since then
I’ve lost track
Too many to recall

I know people in Gilroy
I’ve been through El Paso
I know people in Dayton
The pain is getting closer
But I can’t feel it

I don’t have the right answers
Not sure I even have the right questions
It can’t be normal to feel nothing
when dozens of us are gone

I care
I no longer feel
And that is what scares me most



My son brought home some seeds
inside a paper cup

We didn’t have much hope for them

My wife and I are famous
for no greenness in our thumbs

But after days of waiting
3 sassy sprouts peeked through

Our morning joy has been
to check on our baby greens

We celebrate each tiny change
in our adopted crew

Debating how much water
Googling how much sun
Celebrating with HomeDabbler

We move them pot to pot
as they outgrow each smaller clay

Some days we find them droopy
Some days we find them tall

They’ve come so far
They have to make it

Too much riding on it all



39 weeks

9 months today

39 weeks

Michael’s children almost due

More than 39 weeps

More than 39 leaks

We’re expecting a rain event today

Depression is topical

Call it tropical or storm

Both have the P, the T, the S and the D

Maybe we’re just recycling those tears

Consuming our own

Don’t sleep where you



And tell me how is your fam?

Less blues on the rooves


His tarp is a sieve

Her attic’s in view

Rents higher than spring breakers ‘02

Stop counting the days

Start clearing the haze

Why do I know it was a Wednesday?




I’ve almost forgotten

The song of constant chainsaws

Choosing between gas or charging the phone 

Seeing stars from my yard

I’ve almost forgotten

What used to be on that corner

Asking over and over, “Y’all okay?”

The quiver in her voice when we finally got through on broken lines

I’ve almost forgotten

I don’t want to forget

I want to forget

I don’t want to forget

I want to forget

I’ve almost forgotten





What have we got?

We’ve got

Less builders than building 
More rubble than rooves

We’ve got

Front yard camping
People living in cars

Forrests that are kindling
Time bombs of flaming fear

We’ve got

More patients than patience
Less doctors than docks

Condoms on our chimneys
Cause we’re still getting screwed

We’ve got

Elephants blaming Asses
Donkeys blaming Derms

Grandstanding politicians
Walking like cocks

The only shade we’re getting is from
Those elected to serve

We’ve got each other
But more leave every day

Now a new season is here
What do you say?



His demons are back
They were with him before the storm
But he used to hide them in the trees
Now that’s not an option

She yelled at some rubble today
Not sure why she did it
Maybe because that spot had been cleared
Guess that building was not done purging

He sits in his car outside the office
Trying to get up the nerve to face the day
He’s handling the big stuff
But a small thing might make him crack

She has no passion for the things
that used to make her whole
Is this just the way it is now?
She’s not willing to consider that