Reincarnation

If reincarnation were real
I'd find you again.
I'd fall in love with you 
at fourteen again.
I'd be smart enough to know
a lie from the truth.
I'd be strong enough to face
all my childhood fears.
I'd be brave enough to fight
whatever I had to, including myself...
and I wouldn't just love you
I'd choose you.
Every day of my life
I'd choose you.
I'd choose your children to be mine
to read Where The Wild Things Are,
while I snuggled them on my lap.
I'd watch with so much love
and gratitude as you taught our children
how to ride a bike, and
how to drive a car.
I'd choose you on your bad days
when you were a little harder to love.
I'd choose you at a time
I'd spend kneeling at your bedside
in a cold, dark hospital room
begging God to grant me
more days on earth to choose you.
I'd choose you every night
watching you sleep peacefully.
I'd choose you every morning
over coffee and cream.
I'd choose you when we had steak,
but I'd still choose you
when all we had were ramen noodles.
I'd choose you to help me hold
our first grandchild together.
I'd choose you to hold hands with
and walk from our teens to old age.
But reincarnation isn't real
so all I can do is choose you now.
Every day, I choose you now
for whatever that might mean,
for all the days and nights I have left.
I don't just love you...I choose you.

Teenage Fantasies

Daisy chain crowns
and dandelion wishes,
petals pressed within
the pages of a book
of love poetry, the last
petal proudly proclaiming
he loves me indeed,
yellowed diary entries
faded by time, his name 
and little hearts drawn 
in the margin, she practiced 
writing her name as Mrs. 
so-and-so, her first name 
attached to his last, diary
entries exclaimed with 
delight how he actually 
looked her way, and right 
at her, just for a second, 
for reals, thus it must be 
love, for what could be 
a more clear sign of true 
love than such a deliberate 
glance?

Wild Thing

“Beer drinkers…and hell raisers, yeah…uh huh…baby don’t you wanna come with me?” – ZZ Top

I never used to miss
Friday or Saturday night
at the bar. Wednesday too -
"Ladies Night", yanno.
I smoked, drank a bit,
cussed, and played pool
with a Kool menthol lit
and hanging from my lips.
I danced, with girls, mostly,
because the guys wouldn't
dance, weaving our way
through the smoke clouds
as the cover band wailed
Van Halen and the Stones.
Got in a fight or two, 
tried to break up
a few others. You forget
you're five foot nothing
and eighty five pounds
soaking wet after a few
Miller High Lifes. 
Marriage and motherhood
changed things, for a while.
The kids got older, I went
back now and again
for a night out with
the girls. It wasn't
the same anymore, made me
wonder why I ever enjoyed
all that nonsense. Did I
grow up? Or did I just
get old?

Willow Dreams

There's something about
an old weeping willow.
Wanna lie underneath
hugging my pillow

listening to branches
sway in the breeze,
leaves rustling together
in old willow trees.

They work like wind chimes,
create a whispery tune:
"rest...rest..." sighs the willow
'neath a bright summer moon.

Makeshift little tent
with your branches that weep,
you're the perfect place
for a weary girl to sleep.

See Through My Eyes

I wish you could see
the same things I do
each time I turn
to look at you.

Your hair's much the same
and so are your brows.
Your nose looks like 
you've been in a few rows.

Your eyes still draw me,
it's the same strong chin.
Same mouth that breaks
into that same ornery grin.

I can't tell much difference
'tween the man and the boy.
You're still my bratface
and a source of my joy.

Eggshell Floors

Floors covered in eggshells
are harder to sweep.
They slice your bare feet
and grow ten layers deep.

You have to be quiet
so as not to annoy
or you're risking the wrath
of an overgrown boy.

He keeps the floors covered,
it's what he does best.
He browbeats and screams,
never gives it a rest.

You have to find courage
from deep down inside
to escape all the madness
and jump off the ride.

As soon as you leave him
the real fun begins.
He stalks and he threatens
determined to win.

But hang in there, girlfriend,
for one day you'll meet
the man who will treasure
each scar on your feet.

Heirloom Treasures

He turns off the interstate
onto a dusty two lane
'til he comes to a ghost town
bearing the family name.

There's not much left
but some run down old shacks,
a few boarded up shops
and some overgrown tracks.

His granddaddy's Texaco
still sits on the hill
twixt the IGA store
and the old lumber mill.

Not much left of it either
a crooked sign in the breeze,
couple of rusted out pumps
and the old cooler, he sees.

Granddad stocked it with Nehis
he and his pals drank for free
while granddad told tales
as each boy took a knee.

Tales of monstrous fish
and rasslin brown bear
which grandma overheard
and muttered "I do declare!"

He pulled up to the house,
climbed rickety old stairs
onto the old wooden porch
still dotted with chairs.

He rubbed dirt off the glass
with the heel of his hand,
peered through the old window,
his face leathered and tanned.

The damn mice made a meal
of grandma's old rocker,
still sitting in the room
next to granddad's walker.

He tried the doorknob,
was surprised when it gave,
stepped over the threshold
to see what he might save.

Up the stairs slowly
so as not to fall
to his pops' old room
at the end of the hall.

He swung the door open
and stepped back a few years
his rheumy old eyes
full of nostalgic tears.

The room was untouched
since pops moved to the bay,
just a layer of dust
no one's home to wipe away.

He gathered up treasures
befitting a young boy
with a heart full of song
and an old man's joy.

Blue ribbons for show pigs,
trophies for playing ball,
trading cards and rocks,
Dodgers pennant on the wall.

He found an old wooden box,
laid pops' things in with care.
Didn't matter to him
they were worse for the wear.

He knew a young boy
who'd treasure them the same
a grandson with his eyes
and the same last name.

Back down the stairs
still cautious in stride,
he placed the box in his car
and continued his ride.