J.W.

I remember how proud he was
Of his little patch of garden
Red with tomatoes
And his old work boots
Planted with pansies
And I wonder if he watched a last sunset
Before he died
Alone on a bathroom floor with a knife and a needle
And I wonder if there was
Anything else I could have done
But I’ll never know now
And I hope someone else
Remembers him for more than his mistakes
Because that isn’t all he was

Road Trippin’: New Orleans #8

#21

His gravestone rested
On a rock pinnacle
Overlooking
The land that had killed him
His ashes scattered to the winds
So he might continue his roaming

She didn’t shed a tear
It would do no good
Death didn’t care
If you walked away bone dry

She was alone again
But for a time he’d reminded her
To enjoy sunrises over mountain tops

She walked away
Softer than she’d been
And stronger because of it.

#19

Behind us all is a trail
Breadcrumbs of a sort
You see
Life in all its brutality
Chips pieces of us away
And even if we could gather them all up
Cradle them in our arms
Those lost pieces of ourselves
We can’t make them fit again
Some pieces
Once sheared away
Will never fit again
Will never call us home
And we can choose
To call ourselves broken
Or changed

#9

people don’t come with road maps
all the twists and turns
peaks and valleys
must be learned
one at a time
and each person
has their own variations
wildly different
but eerily similar
people
you see
don’t come with directions
you must figure them out
like a puzzle piece
before you can fit one piece to another
and see the whole
hidden beneath

#8

she died
with the sunset vividly scarlet on her face
silent and still
against the brutal cliffs at her back
it was a peaceful death
for a woman steeped
in blood and death and war
but I suppose
she’d earned that much
for a lifetime spent
in violent places amongst lethal men
those lethal men
sometimes comrades or friends or enemies
heard the song on the wind
they called it the passing of a legend
for she’d been a Ghost in the night
that terrified dark places and evil things
they mourned her absence
and missed her fire
but they envied her newfound peace
and they thought of her
with every sunset