Too little ozone, or too much,

Is starting to destroy us.

But the sky is very clear today

And I am feeling joyous.


On the street we look at crimes

Like the making of a movie.

But the zephyr blows a little kiss

And I am feeling groovy.


The signs are showing everywhere:

The end is coming quick.

The sun is shining all around

And I am feeling sick.







Something that bloomed so filled the air,

Inhaling dizzied me.

The stars were as close as the treetops.

I didn’t feel young, I felt as though

I wasn’t any age.


To be alone that night

Would have been too cruel

For any fate to demand.


What luck that you were there!







I hike to the top of a mountain

Where I sit in a shady hollow,

Watch the distant valleys,

Eat my bread and fruit.

I read from a book of verse

And jot some notes.

Listening to the birds, the insects,

The leaves moving in the wind,


I doze. And then I hear:

“Do you want half a cheese sandwich?”

“Ma! He hit me!”

“This elevation is 3,051 feet.”

“I’ll buy new shoes at Paragon.”

“These flies are so annoying!”


Why did the Family from Hell

Pursue me here, and how

Did they find me? There’s nothing

To do but pack my things,

Look at the valleys one last time,

And trudge down the mountain again.







Were you free for a day of hiking? I asked,

And you joked about “a chance for father-son

Bonding,” yet we both know that’s true.

You made arrangements at work;

We can spend this day on the trails

To the river and waterfall.


We talk about the state of politics,

Your plans after college, the pace of human

Progress. I listen for hints

Of adolescent misinterpretation

I might be tempted to comment on,

But nothing seems less than mature.


Years ago it was clear that the earnest child

Was a memory, transformed as you set out

On your own journey. Today we scramble

On trails through the forest; sometimes you lead,

Sometimes I lead, and sometimes the path

Is wide enough for walking side by side.







Plantains thrive in the sidewalk cracks.

The spiky things that grow in the middle

are their flowers.  

The crazy woman sings

about summer, swings her red scarf

as she walks in the sun.

All things flower

any way they can.




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