Posted in Passages


It seemed a long time before
but couldn’t have been –
little more than a decade.
He was in his late fifties when he told me
and didn’t see seventy.
I don’t remember attention,
but there must have been.
He was vague and specific
“ if I ever get run down by a bus,
everything is in this briefcase,
it’s usually here ” – showing me where.
“don’t let them forget the flag
and the bugle –
old soldiers want both.”

My father phoned,
telling me his bachelor brother had died.
“Just found dead in the farmhouse.”
heart-attack the certifying doctor said,
massive – unsurvivable – death almost instant.
“I’m not sure where everything is,
or what he wanted.”
I was able to tell him.



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.