What I Wanted

Photo by Stanley Morales on Pexels.com

At eighteen, what I wanted most

was for my mother

to come to my graduation.

She didn’t.  She couldn’t.

She wouldn’t be seen,

so sick and thin.


At 70, I dream that she comes

to my graduation

held in an echoing cafeteria

with rows of folding metal chairs.

She comes with my father.

She wears a bulky, padded brown coat.

She is always cold, carved out by cancer.


My mother and father wait and wait.

But I have forgotten the paper

with my speech.

I’ve left it at home.

The ceremony goes on without me.

It ends.

Parents and students straggle

out of the building.

My time is lost again.

As We Turn Toward the Light

As we turn toward the light

dreams drift away.

Mothers and fathers

so vivid in voice and gesture

return to the shadows.

As we turn toward the light

our senses awaken

to sleep-scented sheets.

Dawn slides from charcoal

to mauve to lilac.

As we turn toward the light,

clouds blush.

Our fingers curl, anticipate,


Branches etch an eggshell sky.

The square space encloses.

As we turn toward the light,

vision narrows to a point.

The wide, fulsome dark

of dreams and possibilities


The hourglass flips.