Posted in Truth

Wrong and Right

Before the Jesuitical age of seven
and revelation of birthright as
privilege to some and
random punishment for others
morality is a brown paper package.

In the playground fairness is taught
then cheating learned.
Teachers and parents pronounce this wrong
that dishonesty will not prosper.

At age 12,
my football team loses the final
to a team from the threadbare suburbs –
two points the margin
a championship winning touchdown ruled invalid
when the linesman, a parent from the opposition
signals our player stepped out, when he hadn’t.

Those who saw protest
hurt and confused
children with Christmas presents stolen
before first light
the referee is stern : “the flag was up.”
The linesman pretending all is well, looks away.

Our coach says he was unsighted
but sometimes
people make the wrong choice, for the right reason.

Many winters later, the woman before
the one I would spend my life with
marries unhappily and needs a friend
I pretend all is well and look away
The wrong choice, for the right reason.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.