suitcase

4 suitcases n roses word press

suitcase

you had a suitcase
packed and ready to go
brown, like the hallway
narrow
like the minds of those who tried to hold you back

there was so much of life to live
so much packed in your brown suitcase
strewn like tight jeans and wrinkled shirts
cracked belts and fractured memories

i wished for a promise to give you
a rose and a poem wrapped in pink ribbons
on parched paper
written by hand and erased twice

hungry for words and short sentences
i crawled into your life
as easily as i envisioned crawling into your suitcase
it was more narrow than the hallway
and the soiled, dingy walls reminded me of my life

as the lid closed
the music stopped

home is where i had never been

 

home is where i had never been

i have gone north on southern days
and west against the eastern breeze

in confusion, i have wondered where i am
where i have been, where i will be

i have left footprints in tallahassee
enjoyed coffee at sidewalk cafés in savannah
and traced your lips with my eyes on rainy days

your hands fit into mine in carmel and sausalito
where a moment can last a lifetime for lovers
who dare to feel the ocean breeze
and listen to the depths of their own hearts

i have measured your beauty against a tiburon backdrop
where colors flap in the wind like a wayward sail
where your smile compliments the city
and sausalito is alive with drifting bohemian sounds

i have gone south on northern days
and east against the western breeze
seen your smile on a sausalito morning
and kissed you in a nashville dream

with you it never mattered
whether i went north or south, east or west
i always knew i was home
and home is where i had never been

eulogy for a blackbird

eugoly of a blackbird

eulogy for a blackbird

even now, i’m not sure
why i walked to the end of the avenue
before sitting on the curb.

one city bus marquee after another boasted
that channel two news is best…
until channel seven at six arrived with the next bus.

at the end of the avenue
blackbirds waited, watching near-empty sidewalk
from a drooping wire.

it was then i decided i would not
leave the end of the avenue
until the last blackbird had flown away.

only one remained as darkness approached
until finally it shuddered
and fell to the ground, dead.

i had never seen a bird die
but i believe that’s why i walked to the end of the avenue
before sitting on the curb…

unsure about what to do with a dead blackbird,
i waited for the channel two news team to arrive
on the side of a city bus.

turns out that when it comes to the little things
—things that matter—
none of the news teams cared much about blackbirds…

or about an old man contemplating death
while sitting on the curb
at the end of the avenue with the last blackbird.

morning was sadder than all of april

april co expand

                                                                                                                                                     tolbert

morning was sadder than all of april

 

he looked at his clock and calendar at the same time
then glanced back at march before it ended
and ahead to april before it had begun.

there were no flowers spraying color or fragrance…
no breeze to push the clouds along
and no promise of hope beyond the horizon. 

it was morning and morning was sadder than all of april
—nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide—
just time—minutes really—before he had to go.

there were no birds in the sky on a day such as this…
third monday—march too far gone—
yet april too far away.

morning was sadder than all of april
and he had chosen to watch as march surrendered it’s place
to the delegation of memories.

morning pushed hard on the clouds,
moving quieter than the silence of daybreak,
waiting like a vagrant at a bus depot and with less hope for kindness.

there were no flowers spraying color or fragrance across the countryside…
and no promise of hope beyond the horizon.
morning was sadder than all of april and only fragments of march remained.