An Open Apology

There you were

nervous shaking

keeping it cool

while your fingers

ran over and over

the cash in your palm

the hard earned benjamins in your pocket

You knew it was close

you tried to do the math

all in your head

figure it out

tax included.

 

In the end,

you were one jar

of double chocolate

peanutbutter short

 

You didn’t even sigh

or make excuses

just looked at the totals

and had the clerk take it

 

You apologized with your eyes

saying sorry for your lack of cash

sorry for the condition of your financials

sorry for something you didn’t have control of

in that moment of time

 

I wanted to yell

STOP

Have you cease your apologize

and pay for that jar

of double chocolate

peanut butter

tax included

 

But you were out the door

before I could find the words

out of the parking lot before

anyone had a moment to

consider who that jar was really for

or why you were apologizing for

something beyond your control

 

I am sorry because I have been there

and might be there again

sooner than I like to think

and know how hard it is to keep all the numbers

in your head

making sure the tax is included.

How the dialogue goes in

your head as the numbers keep adding up

and up

and up

and one decimal up

one can of tuna fish

or bagels too much

and you suddenly feel the need to explain

why you only have

$31.00 in your pocket

and bank account to back you up

 

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Dreams

When reality comes home to roost

dreams lose their shine

and the grass is instantly greener on the other side

Langford Park 2014
Langford Park 2014

A poem without a name

Stop the madness

the relentless drive to

be comfortable

there is no comfort

no lasting bit of piece

no moment that will take away

all the time spent being abused

by myself or others

so many of the scars

inflicted upon our souls

are self-inflicted

Stop the madness

do more with less

and give up access

to the world of want

Want leads to desire and

desire to suffering

Currently, this poem has no name.  I would love suggesting from readers.  Submit yours below. Please and thank you. 

Blinded

blinded by smoke

scored by the heat

nothing but the most bitter fruit

left to eat

nothing left but to fight

to fight

to die

and maybe then be heard

or be seen on CNN

and misunderstood

still better than

do nothin’

being the big man’s punk

and doing my time

in the oligarch’s machine

better to go out

with a stone in my hand

than dying in an attempt to live

the promised life

 

Testing Cycle

Stuff knowledge into their heads

cramp it in there until their eyes

beg you to stop

plead with you to let them up for air

then review, review and review

some more

because they have to know it

they have to know it all

and then stuff some more into their head

Make sure they know their subjunctive clauses

from their subordinate clauses

how and when to use a semicolon

what a colonoscopy

and how an author’s background shaped

his choice of dessert or

the fifth word in the second stanza

they want to learn

need to know how to think

so the next command is to

challenge

but not too much

or too little

Shove them into rooms filled

computer screens

and cardboard blinders

put headphones on their minds

and figurative corks in their mouths

pray that they will rise to be wizards

and sorcerers of knowledge

let the scent of vapor cream

pry their sleep exhausted anxiety riddled minds away

for a ninety minute knowledge dump

because everything is riding on

an assessment

when they finish

prep them for the next one

rinsing and repeating until the end of school.

The end of the line, no more changes

chances or extra turns

no more thoughts of redemption

last minute saves

you used all the rope that you have been given

used it up tying knots to keep yourself from falling

but you keep slipping further and further behind

you need to save face and do what you got to do

things just pile up and weigh you down

you never get a head and everything ounce of dust

that lands on you is the one that breaks

more than camel’s back

better get going

cause the good has already got gone