Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Red Tulips

I think I would have turned
Out the same no matter what;
Dad or no dad,
Broken home or whole,
Happy mom, bitter broken soul.
In the end I don’t feel any of it really mattered.
Father, mother, sister, brother;
They just wandered in one night
From the alley shadows of memory.
I didn't have to put them all on stage,
Give them parts in my own private play.

I have reached the age of no longer caring
About finely crafted back stories:
Turning points, betrayals and asking who’s to blame.
Every family fragments with the passage of time.
Sifted through the sieve of individual lives,
Sometimes it's the only way kinship survives.

Walking the dog one day I came upon 
A random troika of red tulips
Bursting from a strip of grassy berm
Between the sidewalk and the street.
They didn’t belong there,
So close to the cement curb.
I caught myself trying to conjure a provenance
And gave it up, let my mind go blank.
The dog was patient, accustomed by now
To my sudden unpredictable pauses.
Look at those damn flowers, I said aloud,
The way the petals caught the afternoon sun!
It was the color of half-asphyxiated blood,
Just enough oxygen to carry me home.


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