Tuesday, July 23, 2019


This morning on our walk,
Sally said the smell of sawdust
Takes her back and
Almost makes her cry,
Which made me think of
My grandpa's garage
Where he worked as
The town mechanic,
Tinkering with trucks and cars,
While telling tales to the
Old men who wandered
Inside and bought
glass bottle sodas, then
Sat on chairs and window sills
Like elders of a gas station church.
I saw them again this morning--
My grandfather and his friends--
When Sally remembered sawdust,
And I missed them all,
Along with the scent of oil on concrete.

Friday, July 19, 2019

To the Moon (and Back)

I make it a point to check in with You each night
Usually through my bedroom window
But sometimes from my front porch where
I can see shining You, riding high in an inky sky.

Fifty years later we're all watching You tonight
After men landed like gnomes in your lunar gardens.
We were in California that day, our parents and
My brothers and I, on one of Dad's recruiting trips.

It was their anniversary, a small step for mankind,
An enormous step for them,
So Dad announced, "Yessir, your mother sent me 
To the moon and back."

Mom, who was knitting, punched him in the arm.
Not in front of the children.
Dad laughed while 13 year-old me felt
Mortified for them both.

Turn up the radio, I said
Or maybe I only wanted to say it.
But when I see You tonight, the laughter
Will unspool from me now like my mother's yarn.