War

My breath has been replaced with lead
And I’ve a soul that now is nearly dead
And a heart that for too long has bled
On the field of raging war inside.

No one sees the battles every day
Where each side claws to keep their foe at bay
But I can feel the casualties, in that same way
You know that someone dear to you has died.

But I am forced to hope it’s not so sad
That maybe there’s freedom to be had
And it won’t just leave two sides half mad
Wondering who can be right when both sides lied.

Mr. Knives

If I ever find the wielder
Then there’ll be hell to pay,
For I can feel again the dagger
That with my heart just loves to play.

All I know about him
Is he has those steely eyes;
And there is no doubt about him
When he’s playing with his knives.

He comes to call when I am angry;
When I’m tired, and confused.
He sells his blades for free
And leaves my heart all steel-infused.

I wish I knew just why he did it;
But he’s always leaving knives,
And yet his worst leaving to wit
Is the need to stab him in those steely eyes.

Rose Colored Glasses

Did you lose them on a walk?
Did you drop them down a well?
Come, my dear fool, talk!
We’ll find out where they fell.

Did you lend them to a friend?
Did they crunch beneath your boot?
It must’ve been an ignoble end
For you’ve turned into a mute!

What, did you lose them to a vat of rum?
Were they stolen by a ghost named Fred?
You needn’t look so vexed for them —
They’re there upon your head!

Suitor

He will be here on the morrow,
Just as he has been today;
His middle name is Sorrow,
And he hangs on every word I say.
A better suitor I can’t ask for;
He’s a wonder to behold!
He sees me to my core
And still, will be here when I’m frail and old.
My every flaw and trouble
At his feet they lay the blame;
Which only makes me like him double,
For it’s such a favor I cannot repay.
He calls me on my bluffs, you see;
Yet he’s the liar, they will say.
While whatever else I might be,
They define me by his stay.

Dominoes

We are a line of black and white,
Numbers on our faces;
I never learned the rules quite right
I just know we’re in our places:
A blow of wind, we all fall down,
Holding to each other;
Dragging each his neighbor down,
Neither finding cover.

Just Like Family

I can call it, now, my family;
For poetry and I,
We’ve ceased communication —
Fallen back on “yep” and “fine,”
And all those little empty things
That govern familiarity
When it forgets to make an effort
Beyond signing on the dotted line.

Second Draft

You’re trying to find perfection;
But life gets no second draft.
Still, you go on thinking
You’re a failure to your craft:

You should have got it right by now,
You should know what to do;
But trying to rewrite it
Won’t make that first draft untrue.

It will be what it will be,
And still there’ll be no second draft;
So why not take a breath and read
The story as it’s meant to be, at last?

Echo

Once, I was your echo:
Always different — yet still near.
But years have changed the question’s tones,
And the answer is less clear.
These days, we wander, through dark and bones,
Accompanied by fear;
These days, it is my voice that echoes,
And I don’t like what I hear.