Stones In Hand

Are stones for throwing?

 

I threw them

at miniature plastic tanks and army men.

The images on CNN framed grown men

heaving stones at armor and assault rifled soldiers.

We were boys once.

 

Mr. Johnson across the street taught me

to search for rolling rocks.

The roundest rocks would roll

all the way down and around the corner.

Gravity and grace on asphalt.

 

One of my older brothers showed me

how to skip stones at Hogset Lake.

Flat stones were prized skippers.

Side armed flings placed abbreviated touch points

across the water and we counted.

 

The gravity has weighted the stones

in my hand and I stand.

Shoulders slumped and a loose grip

on judgments to be thrown.

Will I be the first to cast one?

 

Or will I let it roll or skip and wonder?

I would cast one for fear of being found out,

and Jesus would keep writing with his finger.

 

Would Jesus have stopped writing if they handed him their stones?

Slip Knot

They say tie a knot

and hang on.

He did and he

choked himself.

 

He prayed for a slip

of sorts, maybe Fruedian,

so someone might see.

Pulled tighter

 

maybe this ball of tension

will be easier to swallow.

His throat had seized,

not the day

 

but the disparity

of what was and what

could have been.

His own finger and thumb

 

pinched his Adam’s apple.

The forbidden fruit

stuck in his throat.

He swallowed it whole

 

and it lodged tight,

like a sorrow suspended,

it blocked both passages

of air and water.

 

Bulimic finger pointing

and wretched denial

heaved up nothing.

Rotten to the core

 

it sat and the seeds

were insulated, unbroken.

Would just a bite been better,

quickly chewed,

 

never to touch taste buds?

A piece of skin in the belly

for a three day stay

to be purged

 

through body and blood.

He drank some wine

to wash his sorrow down

and a piece of bread made it palpable.

 

Remains of a Day. Part Two of Three

Throughout the day, April 27th 2012, my mother’s 83th birthday, a thread wove through an e-mail my brother Pete sent to his siblings. He attached some thoughtful words of a scene from the past. In it he recalls an interaction with our mother. In essence, he wrote that he basically wanted a “do over”. Many siblings chimed in with similar regrets, and I thought of many personal scenes I wish I could change as well. But Peter’s piece didn’t end in regret; in fact he spelled out what most of us realized as we stepped into parenthood and beyond. Our mother endured so much yet love kept coming on strong.

My sister Mary added a thread to his;

And with each passing event, it’s only natural for us feel the effects of what happens, sometimes to the very deepest core of our being. And each time, it changes us. It’s the process. God and His wisdom created it to be so. And for that, I (we) are thankful.
Mom’s ashes will be in a perfect spot. At that tree that all of us have seen, commented on. Ashes to nurture life, just like all those millions and millions of events that nurtured our souls.

Then more threads were added throughout the day:

 To know that she was always right there to pick up our pieces of heartache, when her heart was breaking too, was truly a blessing. Sister Pat.

 So many memories …Sister Ellen

One of the most impacting things to me is the times I would visit her and we would sit in silence and I always felt bad.  I felt like we should be talking it up!!  She would always say to me “it’s enough just being together”. Sister Carol

Rick and I had a Manhattan last night and made a toast to mom. Wish we could have been there in person. Sister Barb

I want to say I missed all of my siblings last night…I got called into work early, and so as I reflected on life, I was feeding the ungrateful and impatient masses. I miss Mom more than words can express, and I am very weary of losses and illness. Brother John

She wept when I wept and she smiled when I smiled.  Brother Peter

Yes, Happy Birthday Mom. And as you watch today from the Heavens, kiss each of our tears. We love you.  Sister Mary.

All my mother’s children are grown with grown children of their own. Generations now with her DNA tucked in their physiology walk around in space and time putting dents in the world around them. My parents started it all sixty some years ago and the photographer at the reunions has to stand farther and farther back to fit us into the frame. As my oldest brother Rob and I stood under the sycamore he put his arm around my shoulder and the weight of reunion rested there; it was like a paper weight of sorts, keeping us from blowing too far away from the shelter of family.

One hundred years from now when my parent’s genes have thinned out a bit there will be slices of all of us scattered putting dents in space and time.