He was my first love, a small-town boy
who taught me many things, like
how to drive a car, work a gear-shift,
and ride on the back of a motorcycle.
Mostly, he showed me how to get from
where I was to where I wanted to be.
He was wheel-crazy, and it didn’t matter to him
where he was going, just so long as he was moving.
We might have married, but went in different directions,
he into the navy, I to the big city.
Now, many years later and miles apart,
I hear he’s on his last legs, won’t see another day.
I wake in the night, try to find his spirit in the dark.
I know he’s okay, because journeys are his thing.
But maybe, just maybe, there’ll be a crossing guard at the intersection,
like the one who helped my children when they walked home from school.
MILK AND HONEY
They say we need both, girls,
in order to survive,
and what we don’t get as kids
we’ll look for all our lives.
If we didn’t know love (honey),
we’ll be fools for candy shops
and sugar daddies.
If we lacked nurturing (milk),
we’ll suck on what makes us feel alive—
pop, pot, hooch, you name it.
I’m an old broad now and haven’t
all the answers, but this I know:
If help’s to be had,
it’ll come from inside.
Somehow we must find the
and feed it to ourselves
the way a mother would,
the way a mother should.