Angel Friend – revised

October 9, 2008

I wish I had an angel friend
to watch over your tiny travels,
to walk with you and wander through
daisy stream and meadow.

I wish to have an angel friend
when it becomes your time
to go exploring on your own

to catch you if too high you climb
above this grownup world of pace

too fast to see a child’s face.

Cheer at the altar of his fist.
A beer to celebrate blood on ice.

The enforcer whom you worship
would split your head and not think twice.

These are the heroes we offer –
often naughty, rarely nice.

As a young boy, I did not know what was going on in the classroom. There was no such thing as ADHD or LD back then. It was dismissed as laziness or stupidity. Participles, logarithms, declension, reading, speed, memorization, and athletic coordination – I was always on shaky ground.

My handwriting was neanderthal and my study habits avoidant. I spent my school days furtively staring out big windows. Birds were my envy as they flew across the ever changing sky. On dreary wet days I turned to my pencil (missile) and pen (rocket ship).

I was the oldest of two, then three, then four, then five, then six, and later seven. It became progressively easier to underachieve in this burgeoning post war blue collar Catholic family.

My dad worked three jobs. Mom cooked, sewed, scrubbed, ironed, washed, mopped, and all the while monitored an ever expanding gaggle of robust strong willed children . We eventually overwhelmed her resources. We were like big fleshy ants.

Play and television were my refuge. The tube allowed me to escape instantly. Far away places, adventure, and fame were my fantasies. I would spend hours in bed before sleep concocting gallant stories in my mind with me as the intrepid hero.

My favorite thing of all was Boy Scouts. It allowed me to go camping and play with fire – to go away and have adventure – to take on whatever nature could dish out. It taught me I could do things well. I learned stuff like Morse code and survival skills. I became Order of the Arrow and attended National Leadership Camp. Too bad I let my buddies talk me into quitting.  They thought boy scouts was uncool.

I traded confidence and growth for “cool”.   It was like trading hiking boots for hair gel.

one
grieving mother

diminishes
the multitude of smiles

handful montana

May 7, 2008


Disney is a business. Vanity Fair is a business. Hannah Montana is a business. They are concerned with profit, not family.

Parents are the ones who facilitate this bullshit of worship and consumption. Wake up adults. There is life beyond the Skinner box of commercial culture. You can start by turning off the television.

photo source:

no hard feelings

December 7, 2007

Saw a man jogging…
he looked like dad.

I tried not to wish
it was him.

I tried.

fun

September 28, 2007

little vampire
he brings his face to the toast
sucks in the jelly.

with each wave
these last moments
bathe our consciousness

there was nothing else…

(but jobs are waiting)

put the tiny shells
in your pockets
I tell the boys

so the big ones won’t crush them.

two buddies –
they are eleven
never to be eleven again.

the breeze hides my tears.

2003

scalpel, hammer, matches

June 16, 2007

dad was often a car
or washing machine
with arms –

to which I handed
a tool, or pack of smokes

I wish I had an angel friend
to watch over your tiny travels –
to walk with you through wander worlds
of daisy, stream, and meadow.

I wish to have an angel friend
when it becomes your time
to go exploring on your own

to catch you if too high you climb
above this grownup world of pace

too fast to see my child’s face.