I read so slowly,
Falling behind in everything.
My friends are on the next book;
I’m still on Chapter 2.
They say it is about hate, sex, war,
The downfall of society.
I thought it was about love, childhood,
Maybe they taught something
The day I was absent.
Books, creative commons license
Old friends are no longer close to me.
I thought they were standing still.
Now I meet new people.
Should I move on anyway?
Why do they run when
Walking is much easier?
They are calling for me to catch up.
I can’t turn the pages that fast.
Maybe I’ll buy the “notes.”
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April is National Poetry Month.
When my grandmother passed away many years ago, we had a wake here in Chicago and again two days later in her home town of Martin, Tennessee. In between her remains were flown to Memphis and then driven up to Martin. We took the long drive to Martin from Chicago to attend the wake and then the burial next to my grandfather. Shortly after my return home, I wrote the following.
You flew home.
We drove –
Across long, lonely Sunday highways.
The sky glared down at us
Through hazy eyes.
The air was filled with static
And thoughts of bears and bird dogs.
The road led us past sights
No longer familiar.
Time has no sympathy for trips like these.
Still, we must go home again.
You waited peacefully.
We came in our Sunday best.
Friends and relatives gathered
From places you’d been years earlier.
Some held vague remembrances
Of family experiences.
Some wore faces no longer familiar.
Time gives no comfort at occasions like these.
Still, we will come home again.
You led the way.
As always, we followed.
Slowly you took us
Across streets wet with morning rain.
The air was heavy
With memories we couldn’t express.
The clouds had gone but
The mist stayed in our eyes.
On a hilltop you joined
Friends and relatives who left years earlier.
Although carved in stone,
Some held names no longer familiar.
Time moves on toward days like these,
When we’ll all go home again.
Copyright Richard Paschall
April is National Poetry Month