TEAMWORK


When a baby is born,
And family and friends gather around
Celebrating and Encouraging,
That’s teamwork.
When a soldier is homeward bound
Carrying memories with pride
And thoughts of those who lived or died,
He remembers teamwork.
When medical personnel, firemen, and the law
Save someone from death,
allowing even one more breath,
That’s teamwork.
When mothers and fathers spend the time
teaching their children right from wrong,
That’s teamwork.
When all work together
To make the world a better place,
That’s teamwork.

SACRED TO ME


My parents lived in an old house,

filled with cats, dogs, children,

memories of relatives,

worn tattered furniture.

It didn’t take much to evoke the past,

Pull up the shadowy images of

children who climbed trees,

Played kick the can together

Times that went by too fast.

Those memories are sacred,

Often I dredge them up

and clean them until they shine.

They may not mean anything to others

But they are sacred to me,

And they will always be.

Once


 

These gnarled hands once were strong and quick,

Tying fishing lures and shoelaces.

They wiped tears and held your hand,

Kept you safe in scary places.

These feet usually raced you home.

You always thought it was fun.

Then we had days of kicking back,

Relaxing as we soaked up the sun.

These eyes read the words in your favorite books,

Counted stars and vacation miles.

I watched you grow up too quick,

Leaving for school with grown-up smiles.

My heart once thumped loudly at each parade,

As you marched proudly by.

Often we laughed at memories we made.

My! How the years did fly!

 

Ignored, Forgotten, Alone


English: Forgotten Farm Implements Deserted Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

They turn and face me,

Their eyes vacant of memories,

Their voices stilled,

They hunger to be held,

Anxious to feel the warmth

Of loving arms,

Who are they that reach in vain,

Our grandparents and parents, and us,

Soon I will be there,

Forgotten by those I cared for,

When they were young,

But that’s the way it will be,

The living caring for themselves,

The dying caring for the dying,

The elders are not sought for wisdom,

And youth is too often wasted,

On the careless or the reckless,

Just like the days of my youth,

When the future meant nothing,

And all I knew was the now,

So why am I here to greet the old,

Because now I can see what lies ahead,

When my time comes and I face you,

Looking for the warmth of loving arms,

Will I reach in vain,

And will you ignore my pleading eyes,

Or will you stay away,

Afraid to face where you might be,

When your world comes crashing down,

Hungry to be held, but left unloved,

Ignored, forgotten,

Alone.

 

“He’s Someone I Should Know”


Crayfish party called Kräftskiva

Image via Wikipedia

Who is that freckle-faced, red-headed kid,

Holding a crawdad and snake?

Is he someone I know?

 

As I look through my pictures I wonder,

Am I still that fun loving boy?

Where did time go?

 

That young lad was in love with the world,

Curiosity was his name,

He wanted to discover everything,

 

From the tops of trees or on bended knee,

He ruled his world,

For awhile he was king,

 

Where is the young man who loved sports?

It didn’t matter which one it was,

He always gave one hundred percent,

 

I can see his smiling face in my yearbook,

He enjoyed his high school years,

But those days came and went,

 

Where is the young man who chased the girls?

He was so excited,

Learning what made them tick,

 

He found out he was not so smart,

Finding love was much easier,

Than working to make it stick,

 

Where is the dad who took great joy?

Seeing his children blossom,

They grew fast over the years,

 

They’re all gone and far away,

But I still remember,

As I brush away my tears,

 

Now as I sift through my pictures,

There’s one I didn’t see,

There’s the man I knew,

 

I have a lifetime of things I’ve done,

Frozen moments in pictures,

My, how those years flew!

 

 

 

Never Her Heart


She accepted Mark’s invitation to dinner,

She had been alone far too long,

He had gentle ways and a broad smile,

She thought, “What could be so wrong?”

 

He treated her like a lady,

Showing courtesy in every way,

She was inwardly pleased,

She thought it rare in this modern day,

 

Conversation was light and witty,

He was open about his life,

He talked about his children,

And even discussed his ex-wife,

 

Catherine, too, appeared open,

With no secrets left to hide,

She explained she was a widow,

But not all did she confide,

 

When her husband died tragically,

Her world came crashing down,

She had pledged her love to him forever,

And she still felt honor bound,

 

She enjoyed Mark’s company,

And learned to enjoy his touch,

But as for her past and her heart,

She wouldn’t share with him much,

 

If Mark was truthful about his past,

He thought she might simply faint,

Mark had once been a real bad boy,

While her husband had been deemed a saint,

 

Mark still had some baggage,

Left from when he was wed,

Yet Catherine knew she had some too,

Her first love lived within her head,

 

She gave Mark all she could give,

She was compassionate and kind,

She was willing to give her body,

But she couldn’t ever share her mind,

 

He wanted to love her completely,

But her coolness ate at his heart,

How could they share life together,

When they remained a world apart,

 

When she talked about her first love,

Mark knew he could never compare,

When they made love it seemed as if,

She was but wasn’t there,

 

Notes without any words,

She was the melody of a song,

Her mind was on another,

For her husband she still longed,

 

She talked about her first love,

Often with friends and family,

But Mark felt shut out of her life,

He wanted to belong desperately,

 

An empty life was not for him,

He needed someone who shared,

Catherine clung to memories of her true love,

And Mark thought she never cared,

 

He left one early morning,

He had nothing left to give,

His love had never been accepted,

And he still had life to live,

 

He wanted her hand in marriage,

But he felt rejected instead,

And now she wonders why he left,

As she sleeps alone on her bed,

 

Mark still searches for someone,

Although now his chances are slim,

He’ll wonder the rest of his life,

Why Catherine could never love him.

 

 

The Ocean Is Calling Me (Part 3)


Easterly swell at Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand

Image via Wikipedia

 

Over time
Caleb’s spirit had worn down,

With the
loss of his wife little joy could be found,

He was
filled with conflicts, filled with doubt,

He felt his
heart and soul getting ripped out,

He could
forget the promises he said he’d keep,

Yet in the
evenings he was drinking long and deep,

Only the
ocean gave him reasons to try,

While his
memories continued to make him cry.

Caleb and
the two women drank and talked, exchanging names, dreams, and their stories.  The women, Mary and Linda, were long time
friends who had met and bonded in high school.
They lived next door and shared life together. They scheduled their
workouts at the same gym, worked at the same bank, and were always there for each
other in times of stress or emotional trauma.

Both were
single, but not by choice. Mary was divorced and Linda was widowed. Both had
lost a man to the sea.  Mary’s husband
had sailed off four years ago and had never returned. She waited a couple of years
and then quietly got a divorce. Linda had invited her into her home as a guest,
the least she could do for her friend.
Three months later their roles were reversed and Mary was doing the
comforting.  Linda’s husband died when an
ocean swell, a rogue wave, flipped his fishing boat and he drowned before
rescuers could get to him. As Linda mourned and Mary comforted her, their bonds
intensified.

The women
ignored rumors that they were more than friends.  They needed each other for emotional support
as well as financial support.  Night
after night they had cried in each other’s arms, and often went out to dinner
or to the movies. This night was different.
They were tired of being home, repeating the same routines.  They ventured out on an impulse, just for a
drink or two, and promised each other they’d return before it was too late.

Caleb shared
his story about heading to the flatlands, falling in love, and then losing his
wife.  He explained how he had to get
back to the ocean before he went crazy.
After a while Caleb insisted it was time for him to leave, not because
he was tired, but because he was afraid he would break promises he had made to
himself.

“Linda,
Mary, it’s been a real pleasure sharing this table.  I think it’s time for me to go.”

Linda raised
her glass and said, “One round for the road.”
Then Mary added, “One round to salute your wife’s memory.”

Caleb
thought both toasts were reasonable and well deserved. The night blurred and
faded and with the help of Linda and Mary he stumbled out into the
darkness.  He had forgotten his
promises.  He was past the point of
caring.  He was with two beautiful women
who were his friends.  They had been the
only ones he had allowed himself to share memories of his wife and his
attraction for the sea.  They walked him
back to their house and told him he could sleep on the couch.  He didn’t remember getting undressed.  What he did remember was the tide coming in,
the relentless pounding of the surf, the acceptance of the sand, and the
excited murmurs of the ocean breeze that continued throughout the night.

Caleb woke
with a start.  His mouth was dry and his
head was pounding.  Sunlight streamed
through the windows.  A leg was over his,
an arm across his chest.  He shifted
slightly and then struggled to sit up. He was confused and disoriented.   Where
was he?  What time was it? Was he
dreaming?  Was he back at the flatlands
with his wife? “I’m dreaming,” he thought. “I can feel her next to me just like
before.”  The thought was rather pleasant
and he slowly sank back into his pillow, content and ready to dream for awhile.

Reacting to his movements Mary snuggled
against his chest and sighed contentedly.   The warmth of her body brought back all the
memories of his wife and the flatlands.
His hands and lips caressed her face, her neck, and her breasts. He
didn’t dare open his eyes for fear that this dream would end.  After his wife died she often appeared in his
dreams but he didn’t remember her ever feeling this real.  They made love slowly at first, then passionately.

He rolled onto his side and opened his
eyes.  For the second time he was
confused.  The curtains, windows, and
walls looked real.  His clothes were
neatly folded on a chair next to another set of clothes.  His mind was suddenly alert. “Women’s clothes!”  This was real! It was not his imagination!

Just as he was starting to push himself up, a
woman lay down beside him, pinning him against a body on his other side.  “I was going to make breakfast for us but I
think it can wait.”

She looked
familiar but his mind had already played tricks on him.  Caleb’s mind whirred and he remembered
meeting her.  This woman was Linda. She
was with Mary.  Linda and Mary.  They had drinks with him and he vaguely
remembered walking with them to their house.
Now everything was coming into focus.

Linda was pressing against him, moving her
hips suggestively.  He started to protest
but already he was responding, moving in an age old rhythm.  When their lovemaking was over, he collapsed,
spent and exhausted.  He studied Linda
carefully and then turned to Mary, who was sleeping.  He looked back at Linda, his eyes filled with
questions.

Before he could ask anything Linda said
admiringly,   “O.k., cowboy, how long has
it been since you were with your wife? You were sure needy last night. You
weren’t shy with either of us.”

Caleb
reddened.  “You’re embarrassing me.  I didn’t mean for this to happen.  I apologize for my behavior.”

“Don’t
apologize.  You were what I needed. No,
Mary needed you, too.  It’s just been the
two of us. We’ve kept each other company and we thought we didn’t  need a man.
I think we were wrong. We’ve been shut up too long, away from friends
and family.  You’re like a breath of
fresh air and we’re glad you’re here.”

“I’m not sure
how long I can stay.  I’ll be looking for
a job tomorrow and the next day and keep looking until I find one.”

Hearing
Caleb’s voice, Mary’s eyes fluttered open. “Oh, my!  You weren’t what I expected at all.  I’ll give you five stars. Your wife was a lucky
woman.” She paused and corrected herself. “Oh, I meant with you.”

(To be
continued)