A Father’s Day Celebration

Constellations Frame Memories


You are there

Stalwart stalk and a bloom’s

Nascent memory—

A child in the garden

Pleading you not to pluck a

Peculiar green shoot

Out of place like me

a redheaded

freckle-faced waif

too full of energy to know better

than to be defiant

and bud into a sunflower




You are there

The wind’s gentle movement

Brushing the window screen—

You reach between the squares

Assure the child who

Pushes down fear

Brawls with emotions

desperate for answers

begging for

full confirmation

vulnerable and craving




You are there

The handler in the airport

Of a one-armed bandit—

Five in tow

A set of six eyes

Ritual watchers of

One Nickel

as tumblers

spin all are

hopeful for a win






You are there

A model creating

Award-winning masterpieces—


Notched balsa wood

Store bought string

Homemade glue

March winds compelling

kite makers recyclers of newspapers

to assemble around the

kitchen table

measuring smallest and longest




You are there                                                                                     

A coordinator of Texas reunions

Insistent on crafting memories—

Well-made like

Tightly woven

Rugs stronger

Than time

Instruments’ music

poetry and skits

a cappella voices sing

textiles of history




You are there

A flower head tattoo

The flesh narrates—

Of one who sooths

Growing pains


In the night                                                                                 

couched compassion

embraces and encourages

surrender to your

tender nudges to




You are there                                                                                     

Brown Leisure suit shroud

Framed face speaks your maxims—

         You are smarter than the average bear

         You are my favorite redhead

         You done good kid

         Eagle eyes

everything is okay

when calls

check in to confirm a

troubled adolescent




You are there

In the heavens constellation Canes Venatici

On Earth Helianthus Constellation—

Sunflower in the sky

At my window

In the garden

On my mind

you mark it under the stars

on camping nights

we grow them in the

garden and roast

pin-stripped treats





I Used To Dream Of Not Being Broken

I coaxed the monsoon
From the jagged pock-marked pools
On the sidewalk’s cement

I drew out the tempest remains
With the speckled dun velum
Peeled back from a black walnut twig

I poked in one bug hole then another
Sucking the summer juices from each cement square
And painted ephemeral portraits

I worked like the storm
Furiously stalking the sketches
Then watching them disappear

Wished I too could evaporate
Before the women provoked by
Their own torment found trouble:

Southern squalls delivered
Thunderous claps
Drenching me in terror filled fear

Forty seasons have passed
I do not coax water into sticks
I create pictures resistant to fading

I am the tree
That drinks water
I won’t be broken