Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Monday, October 12, 2009

People I've Known

As the sand has fallen, I realize that more and more people I once knew I will never know again. It's funny how we never know when the last wave or handshake will come and we take so much for granted.
I remember Perry
just a dollop of a kid.
a snippet of a person
in brown stained levis

we ran
wild and free,
played ball
as if it mattered
and climbed trees
just to fall.

he disappeared in ‘74
along with two others
when that green dart
flew fields of trees
but not nearly
high enough
as an oak huffed it’s chest
to the insanity of youth.

Rob left then, too
a fourteen year old
with a death wish.
adopted, and for some reason,
everyone knew it.
a chipped tooth
and a laugh that couldn’t catch up with itself
it runs still today
in haunted silence.

I lost Dennis a couple years ago.
they said he’d die,
said his heart was sick
but I figured Dennis would get around it.
outsmart it. outplay em. always did.
he was fifty
and out of quarters.

Scotty was smart as a whip
and strong as a bull.
a bar stool philosopher
and a good pitcher.
pinched his pennies
for early retirement.
who knew his heart would just pause
a second too long
on a Sunday highway
and the pennies
would be orphaned
in a ditch of spinning wheels
and twisted handle bars.
I think he was 38
something like that.

I’ve lost a lot of them
some in cars,
some on bikes
some wed
to disease

I’m still losing em,
want names?
why make it personal.

every day
we play Russian roulette
to a loaded house.
somebody’s gonna buy it
and ya can’t fold,
nor beg your way out.
just ask Charlie.
God, how we envied him.
I think he was nineteen
when he and half his family
spiraled a copter into the goldless

you wake up to a full house
aces over queens
and gutter down
to deuces and treys
in the last light
of a hopeless day.

and you never seen it coming
-even when you did.

so lawyer up,
policy pack
and vault tomorrow
in the lessons
of yesterday.

we’re all one muscle,
one split second,
one bad hand
from that
which we all fear most.

perhaps, fear is the thing
we should be fearing
and life
the thing
we should be living.