I Cried Today at Staples


They asked me what kind of file folders

I would like. I eyed that wall,

boxes of files stacked like bricks

propping up crumbling dreams,

and I couldn’t stop them,

hot tears welling up unbidden,

indecision and nostalgia and sorrow

in liquid form. And I knew

it wasn’t the file folders –

not really. It was more

that after the check-out counter,

after smiling and making small-talk

with a smiling employee about

the weather and the Riders game,

after fighting traffic

and stopping for an iced frappé

on the way, I would carry the bags

and drop them off

with my son

at their new home,

leave them deposited there,

file folders marked ‘Memories’,

‘Fears’, ‘Regrets’; even the expanding

style can’t hold ‘Dreams I’ve Dreamed

for my Son Since He Was Born’,

or ‘Have I Given Him Enough

to Make Him a Man?’ So I stood

in aisle 4 and let the tears drip

until the labels swam, inked

puddles to be filed later.

Tender Stalk

Tender stalk, the time has come

to stand alone against the winds

that howl and seek to beat a drum

to dictate what your heart rescinds;

frailty, stand strong and true,

though wind blow cold, and night bleed blue.

Bear Hugs

Goldilocks and her handmaids three

Glint with mischief, wickedly

Plotting their tricks and planning designs

To push all the boundaries, cross all the lines

Drawn in the sand to reign them in;

Wearing the patience of Mama thin,

Making the tears of poor Papa run

Down his vexed chin, much to their fun.

Have your fun now, you impish girls,

Pout out your lips, and primp your curls;

Once you meet with your husbands-to-be,

Your wild carefree days will end naturally,

Responsible, matronly,  appropriate, wise

You will become –  bear hugs civilize!