Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I cannot believe it

I just can't believe how much it hurts
to watch the Bee Gees' One Night Only 
concert on TV. As if the Seventies 
weren't a decade 
of missed cues and dread.
Yes there was that.
But also love love love
with those broken hearts.

As if that time
had been a kind of heaven for me.

How deep was my love?
There were 9 or 10,
each eternal, each, 
one by one, took over the center
of my life.

I also hitched a ride to Istanbul, Paris, 
Barcelona, Rome and Athens 
twice during that time.
I lived in a tiny village on Crete 
one November.
I cried for McGovern.

That precious time.
I knew then it was precious.
I knew everything is temporary.

Everyone who jumped to her feet 
when the Bee Gees sang any 
of their six straight hits,
understands the mystique.

Those seventies.
One Decade Only.
When everything important 
had to happen to you.

How the years blew away--
balloons adrift from that party--
those rambling, riveting hours.

And now this mourning, this 
Tsunami of grief
delivered by the Bee Gees.

I cannot believe it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

At my desk

When I sign my name 
to the graduation cards I will send the young 
achievers in my life,
I think a moment on my own 
cap and gown, blue as the Spring Missouri sky 
that afternoon at Grandview High.
My family not present, mother not able to stand
the sun, her Army wife nerves too raw, 
too keened after five moves in four years
with my soldier father 
who bunks in our house but doesn’t 
make eye contact.
In my family, graduation 
from high school is a duty 
not an achievement so there will only 
be ice cream and cake after dinner.
Still, I walk off the green lawn, my diploma 
rolled and ribboned in my hand.
Its power pulsing through palm and fingers.
Thin paper with little physical weight
holds a transforming energy.
I see myself at the portal of another world,
as if I'd been living in a cage and now 
the hatch has flown open and I can wriggle 
and heave myself out, shake myself awake 
with a wild cry.
I am now in charge 
of myself.