Tag Archives: Friends

Calling Hours

13 Oct

He had told me where to buy the car
then helped rivet sheet metal to places
Vermont winters had eaten the ‘73 Pontiac’s

floorboard.  It took two days in November,
our fingers so cold it hurt to get them warm.
All winter the car got me to the store

where we worked unloading trucks,
pricing, stocking, sweeping, mopping,
crushing cardboard boxes in the baler.
 
Tonight, in line at the calling hours
for my father, he meets my wife and children,
says he always knew I’d turn out good.
    
I can’t get over these faces, these people
I haven’t seen in thirty years or more.
They’ve adorned themselves with love

for dad and all the good he ever did.
They tell me stories of dad helping them
or his words they have not wanted to forget

and I am drawn to his reflection in them.  
The rust of death has marred our souls;
tonight there is help to patch the holes.

Shepherds Of The Street

31 Mar

The shepherds of the street who pass our house
each day do not suppose they go their way for me.
By gentle steps, one or two move past our place.

At times, a posse walks up to the store
to meet some friends or buy a pack of smokes

and as they go, they talk to me if I am there
and rise above my fear to catch their eye.
Or I may give a Hey, to my surprise.

I am sure I never have that much to say,
but when we speak—or nod our heads to make a sign,
or pound our fists to greet, or even when,

from in the house, I hear them on their way—
I find their presence to be not unlike a compass.

The shepherds of the street do not suppose
they go for me, but, steady, move their feet
south by southwest or else north by northeast.

Tapestry

25 Dec

photo by Denton Harryman of GreenvilleDailyPhoto.com

Answered prayer, she says, you are an answer.
Billiard balls dance behind plate glass.
Cue sticks aim, wave, conduct our conversation.
Like over-sized batons they signal us to begin.

Friendly strangers, we lay out the makings
for a tapestry—words, expressions.  We weave
answers and questions.  A weft thread
beneath the warp rises to the pattern.

With longing, each one eyes the other
standing there.  Each looks for a close weave,
for a familiar image to appear amidst the intricacies,
beneath the lighted Corner Pocket sign.

Our eager, wanton prayers fly quickly, brightly,
like a tight rack of balls at the break.
Like many lavish threads, they emerge from below,
pressing against each other to form a whole.

to see more of Denton Harryman’s photography visit http://GreenvilleDailyPhoto.com


Amid Old Friends

31 Oct

Amid old friends, a working hand
comes down hard. Fear falls on the land
when a fist becomes a hammer,
a glass tabletop to shatter.
A man, afraid, will take a stand

when, not according to his plan,
he receives a humble brand
and is loath to drop the matter
amid old friends.

Shards sing out how rage will expand
into violence, will demand,
with a loud rattle of anger
and a bang of bad behavior,
that we heed a fool’s reprimand
amid old friends.