Tag Archives: fear

The Fossil

The Fossil


I noticed it 

            while walking

With my children 


the twisting 

                   bumpy trails

That boys like,





This mother’s mind


On the safe 


Six other feet

She wills

              With a shifting 

But Persistent Gaze

Be careful





                Loose dirt

             Gives warning

     Haste of only 










Again…Be Careful

The view lost in her diligence

             The sunshine 

                     sneaking through

Without invitation, 

no arm 

Holding back the way

Its brilliance

Glinting on a fragment

          Stop a second she suggests



                 A bone, 

Pulling it


Wooly mammoth, giant tortoise, T-Rex, 

Squabbling paused with 

We will be famous, like that Leaky guy from science class

Then a trained eye, wise, reasoned 

It’s just a deer bone, boys…see

His explanation lost as we move on

The youngest 

       pleading to bring it home


Knowing the desire to keep

This day propped
Against his wall

A polished memory

Possibilities in every fossil



They Called Him Buck

My dad, telling the perfect joke
A favorite bartender
He would be amused
So many colored liquors
Lining the back shelf now
His drinks amber, gold and clear
Creme de Menthe and
Sloe Gin the exceptions

My dad, his arm bent like
A wing holding his cigarette
Out the window, steering
With the other, loving his
Buick, Chrysler or Olds
Sales cases not car seats
Keeping him company
Always deep in concentration

My dad, watching television
John Wayne, Creature Feature
Maybe golf, football or fishing
Always calm then, unless
The Packers lost the football
Then he yelled from a dark place
Me quietly leaving, startling
Him to embarrassment

My dad, cooking meals
Perfect steak and burgers
Spaghetti sauce, marinades we
Couldn’t really appreciate then
French toast on lenten Fridays
The never ending crispy soft slices
Butter and syrup sliding in perfect union
With glasses of so cold milk

My dad, trimming the hedge
Arms persistently tanned
Extended outward for hours
In work appearing effortless
Swaying back and forth
Slashing into shape
The perimeter of
His domestic jungle

My dad, temper flaring
Against only himself
Evidence now he lived
In a prison of fear over
Standards of perfection
That couldn’t be met
Left to wonder of the origin
Answers long buried with him

My dad, in remembering
The great and beautiful
Ingredients of him, a recipe
He was given, then gave
My memory’s mixture
Grateful for the good
Now, as a parent, contending
In empathy with the flaws

The Sledding Hill

Red hair bursting out both sides
Of a thickly knit very pink hat
Her voice mockingly demanding
Fraidy cat, Just do it, Get down here
He sits perched like a cat
Without nine live’s protection
Sleigh tips not touching ground
Hovering over the slope, hesitant
Then the deliberate crunch of snow
Beginning the descent with a moan
His screams of fear woven with delight
The reckless race down the hill until
Wedging to its destination at her feet
Did you see that? Did you see me?
His tale of conquest spilling out,
He the vanquisher of
The hill, his fear, her disdain
She gives no regard to his feat as
Climbing back to the top together
They carry the sleigh between them