Beautiful Mess

You’re a mess, the long blonde tress,
artificial curl, teasing neckline and tattoo fresh, peering out from under your loose t-shirt, wondering aloud how you made it to this point.
Red lips and bad trips, letting go of needles and past lovers in an addictive grip.
You beautiful mess, tearing up the night,
with the only way you know how to fight,
taking each shot at life,
wandering drunk and forlorn into the stark cold, abcense of light.
Will this be your groundhogs day,
played over and over until it ends this way?

Cigarette in hand, lipstick drenched filter…a long inhalation and a sigh, but no relief.

Fade Away

Girl, why you gotta try so hard, when people don’t care who you are.
Boy, why you gotta be yourself, when everyone wants you to be someone else.
Kid, don’t grow up so fast, these schoolyard moments never last.
Dad, I heard your call from across the hall,
said you wanted me to stay strong,
For your mother, he said.
Nothing is forever.


Some time between you moving away,
me all over the place,
we were astronauts flying towards space.
Landing on different planets,
in the same solar system.
We changed, we adapted and we grew up;
and in many ways grew apart.
Unforseen results.
We weren’t those young dreamers of space travel anymore.
Something shifted.
What is dependent on independence,
two minds who no longer saw the difference.

And the occasional transmissions back and forth lost in translation, slipping in and out over the decades.
It’s a shame, but it is reality.
We both see, no need to agree.
Transmissions get more elusive as time goes.
Maybe we slipped into a black hole, the darkest throes?

Or maybe it’s just me.

Hardened space travelers know they can never really go “home”.


Difficult seeing you now, not as you were.

Once, parading me on the riding mower,

life made simple, undaunted.

Singing out of key, the world—my back yard, spinning infinitely.

How strange to see you now. Feeling the weight of each passing hour.

Your strength governing an unappreciated job, driving me around town.

The long ride home, college kid, so scared of letting you down.

I had to raise my own children, to appreciate what I had.

Fast-forward 25 years, flashbacks and soundbites of you and dad.

Patchwork memories accumulate in story books, read aloud.

Do you know how much I love you?

If it only occurred to me.

The impermanence of all this.

I will not forget so easily.

Father stoic, mother heroic—fighting the absence of youth.

Loving their son persistently, they only way they knew.


Wake You

I can’t replace you, no matter how I try.
Staring at the ceiling, tracing every line.
I can’t escape you, no matter what I try.
I’ve been here a thousand times.

I can’t wake you, with my last breath of air.
Staring out the window, no one’s even there.
I can’t escape you, no matter what I try.
I’ve seen it a thousand times.

And I just wanted to see that everything’s okay,

but I don’t believe a word you say…


I recall, in trees during Fall,
leaves settle on the lawn,
lonely at Rosegarden.
Some in decay, others stuck in the drain,
the pull and strain,
of a single union.
Two kids growing up together, unearthing moments.

Garage full of relics and a yard full of grass,
A tree house, round back, waiting patiently for visitors,
adored by future children.
Never old enough to know better.
Decaying tree limbs, burgeoning feelings
…too many reasons

Alter promises, distance held tight
In front of the TV, engaging sitcoms,
not one another, sofas further away each night.
You might as well have been on the moon.

The comfort of home.
Two strangers living alone.
Lost here on Rosegarden.
The leaves and grass mingle in the yard.
A “for sale” sign standing guard.