Bo

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Recently released from incarceration,
men, some still boys, gather
at the Safe House
to keep warm,
sip hot coffee,
talk and listen freely, or just
rest peacefully.

Neil provides opportunities to
improve.

12-steps

Most cannot break the cycle
of their lives.

Reading
Writing
Arithmetic

Many are too far removed from
the classroom.

Bo comes once a week
bringing canvases, acrylics, and brushes.

None are too far removed
in this house, now a home,
where the art is.

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So Much in Love

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A single lava lamp
sends thousands of
sparkles dancing around the
tired off-white walls
splashing colorful primary-color dots
on cast aside
velvet bell-bottoms
threadbare tie-dye
polyester un-mentionables
while the lovers’ passions
erupt with
lava-like rhythm
pulsing with the sounds
of Carter-Lewis and the Southerners

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Guilty Pleasure

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The bachelor for the show has finally been found!
Twenty-five eager young women his way are bound.
On the first night they all meet;
with a kiss, each one he greets.
After all twenty-five introductions are done,
the handsome bachelor begins to have fun.
They talk. They drink.
They smile. They wink.
Conversation vignettes are scripted and edited in
with girls whose names are Tiffany and Brandilynn.
Words repeated such as amazing and awesome
are swiftly planted, fertilized, and blossom.
For the next ten weeks from eight until ten
I am glued to my TV, waiting for someone to “win.”

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Salvation Army

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A solitary bell repetitively clangs
outside the superstore’s automatic doors.

Standing stoically, a bored Santa,
skinny and beardless,
seems oblivious
to the endless salvo of the repeated tone.

The red kettle, slick with settled moisture,
collects compassion coins
from the fortunate
eager to hurry inside and spread comfort,
out of necessity,
on the unnecessary.

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Beware the Wolf

lost in sheep clothing
the wolf hidden in the folds
howls to be displayed

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Perfect Harmony

wedding

wedding white
joined with
basic black
trimmed in
mauve chiffon
sealed with
fragrant peonies

love abounds
forever
until death
we do part

forward thirty-five years
after vows of perfection

the thought of two people
living in perfect harmony
until death
we do part
is, well, absurd

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First Name Only

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Young Sarah
Among the seasoned helpless
Seeking solace
From the circuitous path
That is a family in addiction
There is no anyong
As she shares
A story too sad not to be true
Most are silent
Eyes cast downward
No advice is offered
No cure is proffered
Only a circled prayer recited
With a hug until we gather again

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