Blog Archives

Blue Shirt


Every Sunday for forty years, my father
would choose the same blue shirt
to wear to church.
The cloth faded and grew thin
and some of the buttons
went missing.
(You’d think he had no money.)
Almost as an afterthought
he’d put on a tattered tie, then walk
two blocks to the Methodist Church.
Easing his bony frame down
onto the unpadded wood pew,
he’d wink and say, “I’m sure the Lord doesn’t care
what I look like, but only that I’ve come—
and here I am.”
Now, six weeks after his funeral,
I hug his empty blue shirt
and long to hear him say once more,
“Here I am.”

 

Poem © 2018 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
NOTE: This poem is almost entirely the product of my imagination. Any resemblances to my own life are purely coincidental.
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #151
   
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Money”

Angel

DSC_0391
A winding path, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona

 
 

A father bends
to help his little girl
who has skinned her knee
while running.
Somehow her legs gave way
and she stumbled in the gravel
at the sidewalk’s end.
He kisses the wound
again and again, murmuring,
“It’s all right, angel, it’s all right.”
Smiling back at him
through tears, she says,
“Thank you, Daddy.
You’re an angel too.”
Then the big angel spreads his wings
and carries his little angel home.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More SkyWatch Friday
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #116
   
More Poetry Pantry #358 at Poets United

Spring and Other Things

 photo 2d184dc9-9956-4dd9-be86-3539bc825cea_zpsdzqlpexr.jpg
 
 


~~ 1 ~~
 
in a plain black dress
she welcomes spring to the hills—
the soldier’s widow
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
dreaming of springs past
when she walked with her father
through the plum orchard
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
a dazzling array
of fruits in the marketplace—
boy filches a plum
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
First full week of spring—
they speak only of the light
drenching the meadow.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
an open doorway—
throwing away all constraints
to cross the threshold
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
An open window—
this morning the mockingbirds
are making her sad.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
after spring’s first rain
memories of her childhood
sprouting fresh and green
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
blocking out the sobs
of the child who’s lost her coins
at the carnival
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
third full week of spring—
the menace of a sleet storm
freezing lilac buds

 
© 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #300
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #57

New Ways

 photo e65571c4-fdea-4f4e-9ffe-3b65456f64ff_zpsikrt8hc7.jpg
 
 


~~ 1 ~~
 
bitter memory—
the night he broke her left arm
with a baseball bat
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
how an egret stands
on one leg, then the other
at the water’s edge
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
father of the bride
taking out his handkerchief
to dab at his eyes
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
first month of the year—
trying to find a new way
though she keeps stumbling
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
building a new nest—
the mice in the dead man’s shoes
tying up loose ends
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
smashing the last plate
in her mother’s collection
to vent her anger
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
ordinary rope
tying loose ends together
in a sacred knot
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
a brown serape
pulled tight across his shoulders—
old man shivering
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
first weeks of the year—
in her trembling hands a rope
to steady her way
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
old men playing chess
on a chilly afternoon
fumbling every move
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
trying to sort out
the logic of a young crow
that spurns fresh road kill
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
with trembling fingers
she tries to untie the wind
tangled in the oak

 
Haiku © 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #42