sittin’ next to Sylvia

Summers spent walkin’ by the railroad tracks
Young, smart, beautiful – they always had each other’s backs
Life’s torments had not affected them yet
Verily they’d both learn how to forgive & forget
In reuniting, they rediscovered their youth
And all the words & love came back, bathed by tears & time’s truth

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merica

for love she crossed an ocean
enduring much pain
well over a decade later
she crossed that same ocean again

in this place she once called home
she is a foreigner – a stranger
first fatherless, now motherless
she feels naught but loss & danger

outside her mother’s apartment
she stands at the end of the drive
bathed in surreal sunlight
thinking of reasons to stay alive

“go back to your own country”
yell teenaged voices from a passing car
her grief morphs into rage:
who do these assholes think they are?

she’d seen all the news reports
in the Times, on the BBC
now, the day after her mother’s death
she’s faced with the ugly reality

“I so don’t wanna be here,”
is what she thinks as she wipes her eyes
“I don’t wanna be in this place,
where such behaviour’s been normalised”

escape to her is granted:
her friend pulls up in the car
relieved when the car moves forward
she tries to process this newest scar

heart shattered by grief
brain dead with shock
she longs for her red front door
with its tarnished, old-fashioned lock

“what happened?” asks her friend
“you all right – you okay?”
sadly she recounts events
as her friend drives the car away

for the moment, she is safe
she sits in the seat & she cries
“what a messed-up thing to happen,
& the day after your Momma dies”

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72 hours

I took a walk
on the beach tonight
passin’ people drinkin’
by a campfire’s light
there were stars in the sky
they shone so bright
& two of them were my mother’s eyes

under a cold dark sky
I walked in my homeland
listening to the waves
as the kissed the damp sand
still feeling that last touch
of my mother’s hand
beneath the gaze of her starry eyes

someone wake me from this nightmare
I’d like a reprieve
this new reality
I don’t want to believe
my tears mingle with the lake
as all alone I grieve
thinkin’ of my mother’s eyes

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the road to Edinburgh

cool morning mist embraces
my beloved Scottish hills
I try not to think of what’s coming:
it makes me sick,
it gives me chills

lights glow in scattered farm houses
they shine like alien eyes
I’m tryin’ hard to turn my thoughts off,
cause they’re all scary –
oversized

each mile covered takes me further
from favourite familiar sights
I’m entering unknown territory,
approaching many
dark nights

the morning people have awakened
to a new cycle of joy & pain
I can feel his silent watching
as I walk tearfully
towards the plane

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