the last day of summer

of forests and farmlands, fields and fabric
woven with those clean linen fibers you so long to wrap your body in
to run through meadows, and jump into rivers
the weave of living, of swimming naked, your skin glowing in the moonlight
the stars too bright here, too close to fathom

and now the double wedding orgasm has passed-
now with one of your own (four, in fact) wed
and the day was sweet: the mountains and river and oh, that fabric, blowing in the wind
the banjo, gazebo, chickens and contra dancing
a true northern countryside wedding

and we danced and drank for a long time under those stars and candlelight
like hobbits in the burrow, or Jews celebrating Shabbat

we rose early this morning, hours before dawn broke
we drove to the airport
we parted ways: they for Mozambique, me for school
now i write and listen to patty griffin, i wait in the in-between time
tomorrow, everything is different
so i say sweet & sad goodbyes,
and i lean into this season change with wide arms and open heart


if it hurts, you can tell me
just whisper it in my ear
i am listening to you, i am
more than you mostly believe

i would like to walk these days with you
these island and mountain and northern days
i would like to celebrate these weddings,
& cry these grampa tears
and carry you through this season-change, this coming sea-change
& you can hear me through more than little typed letters,
i promise you can
let me teach you to listen.


r.d.b., my cherokee grampa

larger than life,
a roaring storyteller
over 6 feet tall, over 200 pounds
a long thick beard like saint nicholas
a ponytail like a biker
a mind sharp and sound
a knowledge of every highway west of the mississippi
a sense for business and trade

but you, my grandfather, are an old man now
you even told me yourself
and it hurts to say goodbye.


you spin in circles, through the rhythms & grooves of my mind
and maybe there is a little less anxiety now
because, just like her and him, i'm just trying to figure it out
& we could call that pretty normal, right?

two steps toward and one step back from you
but failure isn't failure until we stop trying, i've been told
so please be patient
with my mostly wayward and deceit-full heart.


[for you, for ever ago]

peace, child! your smattering heartbeat is making me nervous, & i am feeling small and young.

what is your name, little one? what is your little name? can't you remember? can you pronounce it? do you always speak in whispers?

what's that? you like me? well thanks i guess; i like yours too.

& if I could tell you a much secreter secret than that, it would be that i want freedom, & it would be that i don't want to be addicted, anymore.