Boy Walking On The Road

Boy Walking on the Road

Today I saw young boy
walking at the edge of a country road.
His body misshapen
yet his gait firm and determined,
an MP3 player plugged into his ears.

Was he shutting out a world
of stares and schoolhouse taunts?
Was he orchestrating, choreographing
a life beyond the twisted body?
Was he the prophet for this day?

I wanted to take him up -
wrap him in my arms –
fly him away -
baptize him in the lake
of straight-boned boys.

I wanted everyone
to see only his soul.
To have each of us
touch his body
with tenderness.

I wanted a world of grace
and blessings for those
who teach us, by their presence,
what each day can hold and that
a prayer lies always waiting on the skin.

There Were No Circus Tickets

There Were No Circus Tickets

when I was a child.
Poor is what my neighbors were.
I thought everyone lived this way.
Christmas 1953 we got a television
but my younger sister was so sick she
wouldn’t even get up to watch or open her presents.
Later I watched the circus from
the box in the living room
and began to dream.

My father never denied us what was free
or that he could make.
Soon, a swing set sprang into the back yard
made from discarded pipe he painted green
complete with a hanging bar from smaller pipe.
I became a traipse artist
hanging first from knees,
then ankles
and soon from just one ankle –

Oh, I was glorious swinging
one foot wrapped around the chain.
I was performing, the trees applauded
and the chickens sang.
Elephants and the exotic animals
from “Jungle Boy” on Saturday morning TV
all paraded through our yard
as I would swing-sway, then
tight-rope across the top pipe.

There was no stopping me
in my own amazing circus
as I wrapped myself in cotton shorts –
a daisy chain halo circling my hair.
Singing calliope music in my mind.
I even perfected the bicycle - first with no hands
later I could stand on the seat my arms outstretched and free
no small task on a country rock based road.
It was the best free circus anyone ever saw.