MAGIC, ONCE

As a child he had a magical power.
He didn’t like to use it, didn’t want others
to know he had it, certainly couldn’t share it.
He wasn’t certain when it began to fade,
but he noticed the power diminished as he grew,
as he learned more about the world,
and there was absolutely nothing he could do
to stop or even slow its diminution.
He knew he would miss it, knew he
would always remember it even when
there was no longer a trace of it.
He stopped thinking about it as life
engulfed him in its ever-present moments.
Every once in a while he would pause
and remember it with fondness for
innocence is not something you lose willingly.

THIRD EYE, NEEDING GLASSES

You ask me what is the first thing
I can remember, and seem surprised
when I tell you memory is much like
a Buddhist river, never the same twice.
Memory is a stage and I am one to forget
my lines, today it’s the window
in the back of a Miami Beach bus
amazed at the sweeping curve
facade of the grandest of hotels,
or the cast iron of the radiator
with its almost rusting pipes, standing
on the small square white tiles, outlined
like the walls in black, the bit of my hair
stuck in the valve knob, a bit of blood
on the floor beneath where the rag
wouldn’t reach when we got back
from the hospital, my toddler head
beneath a bandage, the floor where
my father would fall three months later.
The problem is childhood doesn’t come
with stage directions and my lines
are associated with places and things
and a child cannot read a script
and memories drown and float to the surface
and are carried downstream to a sea
replete with  things I have long since forgotten,
like the face of my mother before
they took me to the foster home
and she returned, again barren,
to her own river of a life.

REALITY RHYMES

Little Jack Horner
sat in a corner
suffering from a severe
narcissistic personality disorder.

Old King Cole
was a merry old soul
and a merry old soul was he,
until he died from a combination
of cirrhosis of the liver
and emphysema.

Little Miss Muffet
sat on a tuffet
eating her curds and whey,
and had a blood cholesterol
count of well in excess of 250.

Four and twenty blackbirds
baked into a pie,
and when the pie was opened
the animal rights league
protested mightily.

The king was in his counting house
counting all his money,
the queen was in her parlor
eating bread and honey,
the people were in the streets
demanding social justice.

AGELESS

He is still three, but he is not
easily convinced of that fact.
He says he is four, although
with that certain smirk and a wink
he admits his birthday is next week.
He says he is practicing being four
and it doesn’t seem all that hard.
He says he has gotten so good at it
that next year he is thinking
of turning twenty-seven.
His father smiles at this, imagining
all the teenage years of angst
bypassed in a single night.