Monday, January 23, 2012

Somewhere Along the Border

image borrowed from bing

somewhere along the border

I am not the guard at the border,
but the one they bring the body
not for the autopsy

but whats left to sew up after
attempting to put back together
some semblance of a life

& there are nights my fingers bleed
where the needles nicked,
my skin not thick enough
not always

i order chicken salad on wheat, comfort
by choice, with potato chips and a pickle
spear, root beer---not noticing my friend's

selection, focus being what he is saying,
concerned with decisions his daughter is making,
wondering how to handle while
allowing her to feel trusted & empowered ,
not see him as "one of those parents"

"what if i am over reacting?
what if i push her away?
what if..."

"she comes home pregnant," i interrupt, "how cool
will you be then?"

Still stuck in the tension between being her friend
and giving parental direction, as if she needs one more
person unwilling to listen to what she is really saying,
and I refuse to give permission to shirk the responsibility,
providing a place to lay the guilt when it happens

Will opinion polls & popularity ratings
keep you warm on those nights?

"Isn't it worth a conversation?"

A reuben. He ordered a reuben, which the waitress
delivers, sits untouched beside chips, but no pickle---

it crunches with each bite i take, sour on the back
of my tongue, as i watch his eyes for more than
a night of American Idol & ice cream

absently rubbing old callouses
on the tips of my fingers,
just to feel their texture.

Brian Miller

Posted over on his site Way Station One

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