A Daughter’s Wedding and Wife’s Departure and the World in Perspective

To My Daughter at Her Wedding

Little girl, Little Jenny
Standing by your father’s side
It’s in you; yes it’s in you
That all my hope resides.
I know now you’re the future
And when my smile fades
Your own eyes will only brighten
As in his arms you stay.

Sweet girl, Sweet Jenny
In whom I’ve seen such pain
You have risen from such darkness
To stand tall where once you’ve lain
Rise boldly now –
For as time draws its shade
You truly will shine much brighter
As in his arms you stay.

Sweet Jenny, Beautiful Bride
Standing by your father’s side
I release you to another
One who holds you with such pride
In his face I see an image —
Your reflection in his eyes
Little Jenny, Little Jenny
I release you – Scott,
Here’s your bride

Your Stepfather,
Don

To My Wife upon Missing Her

You stare up at the heavens
As if to save the pools in your eyes.
I want your soft long face again;
I kept the tightness of our last embrace
To keep the memory
Of what I once saw you develop
Around me, a bursting garden
From shriveled leaves;
If fall is dying, winter is dead,
But like a prizefighter
Who keeps coming out of retirement
We try to resurrect ourselves.
But all good on earth soon dies
To resurrect healthier
On the other side. And the cascades,
One hundred thousand echoes
Of our travels together;
We sang together in the van;
We crossed forests, met between the covers
Of a few good books, or talked
Deep into the morning.
I remember your happy face,
More happy in the eyes
Than in the shape of your smile.
So I didn’t have to look down
To see it. It’s natural to die
I never thought I’d find a heart
So warm and so kind
It too would yearn to cross
The border of time, but it is you!
It is not human to die,
Though death starts slow
Like a locomotive that appears to lull
Soon it too must go.
As the train smashes time’s barrier
And enters your future, exits mine
I grip my fists; my heart is broken
All ends come, all eulogies
spoken.

To the World on the Subject of Perspective

I grew tired of mastering flight
So I stood on my head with heavy feet,
Let go earth till it looked like a penny;
I decided to live in the blue sky.

It’s a mad rush to watch the sun set
Into eastern clouds each morning
And stare down past your feet, see it creeping
Till red fingered sunset pulls it up.

The old well is usually boarded up
But pry the boards; it’s a sun-tunnel;
If you fall through they dig for you
Pulling buckets of ether, only at night.

As you fall you grow real tall
A shadow stretched by hands of light;
But the sun’s just a big bouncing ball
Unless you fall when it is white;

“Hey up there,” you ask, “What do you eat?”
I answer, “Down here we eat gossamer.”
And your sea drips fresh drinking water
Which your earth pulls back when we’re through.

If I could soar up to your earth
And drop my feet back down
I’d grab your ankles, lift them up
And we’d both tumble up to the sky.