THE BARN ON THE HILL 

Tired and groggy, I’d eat breakfast 

staring outside the kitchen window 

I’d marvel at the orange ray of sunlight that would knife through the back wall of the barn then 

exit through a hole in the loft 

It looked like the tattered hole 

where mice had gnawed through the corner of my grandfather’s thatched fishing creel 

A single beam of light transformed and spread upward and outward into the sky -God’s oriental fan 

The old barn on top of the hill 

once sturdy, big and red 

logged time 

snapshots of him, bookmarked my childhood 

always there, standing proud 

he was a guardian watching over me 

When he still had decent posture and some color to his face he’d see me off to school 

where my favorite activities were lunch, recess and class parties 

As he slumped and faded, 

looking like a loosely woven basket 

weathered from the sun and rain 

I was busy with ball practice, drivers education and newfound freedom 

With only his tilted framework intact 

bowing a stoic goodbye 

I went away to college 

Home on spring break sitting in my old familiar spot at the kitchen table 

I smell the bacon cooking, notice the rays of sunlight creeping over the hill, through the kitchen window, dancing off the particles of misty steam 

I follow that ray of light onto my empty plate, then back to the window, and up onto the horizon- 

Also empty 

It is gone 

And as I sip my cup of black coffee I realize… 

So is my childhood

 

MONDAY MORNING

Leaping off the edge 

Catching air in my lungs like the first breath of a newborn 

Adolescence 

  

Landing, laughing knee deep in coal slag 

Smell the bitter tang of the earth 

Feel the grit between your teeth 

See the shiny black smooth waves 

  

Hear the piercing call of the coffee maker 

The bitter, earthy smell of espresso blend 

I sit alone at the kitchen table 

Staring into the burnished black coat of my Labrador retriever 

The kids are still in bed 

And I am late for work

 

 

A PENNY IN HIS POCKET 

Sustenance gives way to superfluous  

In the river of acquisition  

Performance appraisals in robotic form 

Steal or be stolen, break or be broken 

  

He parts his hair with precision 

Wearing his suit with confidence 

In this world - no second chance 

In this world of giants 

  

And so he counts 

  

Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty five, a thousand, ten thousand, a million  

And the world is but a penny in his pocket