Sunday, June 21, 2020

Hey Dad, Happy Father's Day

Hey dad, It’s Father’s Day so I just wanted to tell you,

I really do listen and take to heart the advice you give me,

Every time i ask, and even when I don’t.

I just need to see if my way will work,

Even though I know you’re almost always right.

I was thinking the other day about when you taught me to read.

I was a little behind.

You huffed and you puffed and the roof didn’t fall down,

And now I have a job where I am surrounded by books. 

When I needed a tennis partner, you helped me practice, a cigar in your hand.

I learned placement by not making you run.

Then there’s the trip to the hospital to X-ray my finger you thought for sure was broken.

It wasn’t.

You laughed on the way there, three sons, one daughter and who was the one with the basketball injury.

You liked Bing, Mom liked Frank,

Something I just found out.

All those years I didn’t know,

You like your music soft, slow, and sweet.

You’ve changed and adapted as the world changed around you.

“That’s the way way they do it these days, I guess.”

iPads, politics, health, mobility.

Calm and strong, upbeat in the midst of turmoil.

Now we can almost look eye to eye.

I worry that you don’t eat enough or get enough exercise.

You don’t let on that you worry about me, but I know you do.

You still do the research and give me advice.

Love is a word that isn’t easy for you to say.

We’re similar that way.

We feel deeply but nurturing words don’t come naturally..

You analyze, support, and are always there,

A rock.

That has weathered many storms.

And that’s just one of the things I love about you.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Photo Op

There’s our president with a Bible in his hand

His right arm lifted high

In front of a church he doesn’t go to for prayer.

Standing there looking somber

As the camera shutters click.

And memorialize the moment when

A president held a press conference 

Flanked by the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Officer,

A Press Secretary who should have known better than to schedule this,

And an Attorney General who ordered the police to clear protesters off the sidewalks and street

So the president could walk down the street  to stand with a Bible in his hand.

Insulting anyone who has ever worshipped in that church

Insulting the religious and pious, 

Who follow the words of Jesus,

Mocking us all.

There’s our president with his wife.

Today they motorcade across town

To pretend they are in solidarity with Catholics.

No need to have the police bully away a crowd,

Just a need to take a photograph,

To show his faithful a religious pose,

Rather than  his usual tweet storm.

Standing somber with his wife,

As the cameras memorialize another day without compassion,

Another day without empathy,

Another day in the march towards a soul-less America.

Where is our president when he is needed most?

Where is our president when the victim isn’t white?

Where is our president when the streets are filled with throngs who have no other way to be heard?

Where is our president when zealots use the moment to cause chaos?

Where is our president when the people of America need to heal?

Where is our president when the people of America need to look for ways to become a nation united instead of divided?

Where is our president when we need him?

He stands in front of churches that didn’t invite him.

He stands for the cameras.

He stands and clergy cringe at the use of their building as backdrops for his campaign photo.

Why can’t he show up for the conversation?

Why can’t he show up for the condolences?

Why can’t he show up and do what we expect and need a leader to do?

Just Breathe

Just breathe, they say

And it will be okay.

But I know better.

Breathing won’t make things okay.

Just because I’m breathing doesn’t mean

The problem is gone.

It’s still there.

And what about all those times,

I’m not allowed to breathe slow and steady,

Because someone is pushing or pulling

Or holding me down.

I can’t “just breathe” when I’m gulping for air to survive.

How about you work on you

And I work on me

How about you stop telling me how you would do things

And maybe offer to help instead..

How about you I tell you to “just breathe:

And you see how not okay it is

When someone chokes your throat

Or chases you down

Or treats you worse than they treat an animal.

Just breathe

And remember

I am a person too.

Inhaling, exhaling


Just like you.

Saturday, June 6, 2020


If protesters are thugs then I was a thug today.

Along with several hundred peaceful people,

I walked.

I chanted.

I shouted.

I raised my fist.

I smiled under my face mask when the women near me tried to start their own chant,


And they laughed when I helped them time it just right.

Together we shouted VOTE after each phrase the crowd chanted.

Together we walked under the hot sun,

And talked about having done this before,

And why we do it again and again.

I walked,

We walked.


Back to a church,

Where a church security guard thanked me for coming.

Where people were hot and tired,

And hopeful.

We didn’t disturb the peace,

We carried signs .

We kept our distance due to COVID.

We listened to speeches.

We thanked police on motorcycles for stopping traffic in intersections.

If protesters are thugs then I was a thug today.

If all thugs were this peaceful we truly wouldn’t need police.