And I had two or three cigars given me.
We laughed and joked,
having forgotten war
It looks to be a Christmas
warm enough for hiking.
We will kick up the leaves,
decide which fellow travelers we greet
With a ‘Happy Holidays’ and which we
greet with a ‘Merry Christmas”
And because this year is different
from all other years, we will peak
inside each and every house to see
which ones light their candles
despite the lack of oil. Despite
the lack of snow, we will still
light our own candles in the deep
of a warm winter’s night, proclaiming
both a myth and reality; a belief
and a certainty.
And certainly, I will remember the
gifts of this season, a trail
open for bonus days, stockings
that keep my boots from chaffing my
feet, and a sunset that staves off
the darkness just an hour more.
Dreams are the cost
The kind that
Feel both tragic
I dreamt I was
Back in college
End was near.
I had done nothing
And no one reminded me
No one could tell me what I hadn’t
I would be leaving.
I would fail.
I awoke, trying to hazily
Remember if that actually
Happened, nearly twenty
You have been a hundred places
since you last called it home,
though you only called it that
for a number of months.
When the sky turns gray,
you can’t help but wonder
if you might ever again Make
your way there
or if you might even still
She believed that evil
was, ultimately, something
She liked to tell her students
that she learned about original sin
sharing a refrigerator with two roommates.
The darkest cruelty she ever experienced
was brushed off by a high school principal
who would drink himself to death years later.
“Boys will be boys,” he shrugged. “You’ll survive.”
Boys will be boys. Dogs will eat their own shit.
It’s how things are. People who would never in
their life put a child in an oven or sic a dog
on one or drop the bomb will, at the same time,
never lift a finger until it affects their property’s value.
There’s nothing supernatural about evil. It is what we do.
“It’s like trying to wrestle a Rubik’s Cube,”
she liked to tell her students. “Don’t try so hard.
All this talk of God and ‘Why?’ We love to say that
we are the builders and the discoverers and
the makers. We forget that we are also the
ones who pluck, the ones who break, and the ones
who cover it all up.”
Still, there were nights, when the old puzzle
with which she always opened her first 8:50 AM
lecture of the Spring Semester:
“If God is Good, God is not God; If God is God,
God is not Good” kept her up till all hours.
She turned it on all of its sides, tried to make
the pieces fit, the colors match. They never did.
Perhaps it is not what they do, she’d muse, twisting
her wrist one more time, on a hunch and something
like a prayer.
Will this fog
The road has
without much of one.
And then there was
the rain. Haunting
us every third mile,
harassing us every second
one. We stay quiet enough
to hear the whir of the engine
and the kickup of stray rock
on the road.
The quiet of a University
campus once classes finish
is a familiar joy to me.
The goodbyes as the air grows
cooler. The relief once the
tests are finished. The promise
of another semester echoing through
the emptying dorms.
Today, I walk out of my office
and see the lights still on in
an old chapel on the campus
just across the street. Quiet,
its wooden doors await the next