poetry

why we were on the bus

To what sunset should I sweat-lay the rail?

                Chivalry is dead;
The hopeful hardships of honor pass away;
            There is no color, no air in the room,
No wall between us unpainted grey.
        Windowless lives and mirrorless meanings,
But dust for the shifted rug, for the broom;
    Ask the children of the day:
There’s silence in their leanings.

                But what of Papaw,
Or Momma on the Singer sewing machine,
            No rent of jean catastrophic enough;
When the principal’s paddle wasn’t mean,
        But fair and just and bigger than us;
When believing was every ounce as tough
    As being fightfully lean?
‘Twas why we were on the bus.

                We forget ourselves:
We dress our demons and burn bridge to the past,
            We carve the totem and reset the sail,
We heat the potato and pass it fast
        To the wildest eyes of ungardened whim;
To what sunset should I sweat-lay the rail?
    A man should know what he’d cast
As well as what’s casting him.


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    Music: On Jovian Clouds
        https://windstrewn.com/2017/07/30/on-jovian-clouds/


10 comments on “why we were on the bus

  1. I like this a lot

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Life certainly is very different these days. Our girls will never know… It’s such a shame in many ways and yet in other ways it has improved. Or has it? I’m sometimes doubtful… Our days seemed simpler, but were they really?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tend to believe our motivations were more singular and less materialistic, for sure. And probably less selfish, en masse. Going next door for a cup of sugar is now a foreign idea that wouldn’t occur to very many (and my estimation of the concept has far less to do with needing a cup of sugar than it does with knowing, respecting and making yourself available to your neighbor). Like you, I don’t know that ‘simpler’ is a tail we can pin on the donkey; ‘different’ most certainly is. A good thing in so many ways, but I find myself sometimes missing the sense that we had a more intimate and personal accountability to what was brotherly, honorable and chase-worthy…

      Liked by 1 person

      • And yet there’s snippets of the old ways still lurking behind every door. And when they make their presence known, it’s such a lovely surprise. Here in Wisconsin, it isn’t uncommon to have a doorbell on your back door. Or to have a person randomly show up and mow your lawn for you, rake your leaves, or shovel your snow. Yes, it’s rare, but not unheard of. A new neighbor of ours recently came over just to tell me that she realized we were a home schooling family and she wanted to hire my daughter to babysit for her. She hadn’t even met my daughter yet and still she wanted to offer her the job. Another time, one of my daughters had just been born and a woman I had never met, showed up with a homemade apple pie. There’s been times I’ve discovered boxes full of food at my door, farmers who have too much in their fields leaving produce in large buckets on my porch. I could go on and on… the point is, the magic still exists and the people who spread it around cause it to ignite in someone else. Chivalry to me is not completely dead and if I have anything to say about it, it never will be. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I live for, love and in memory cherish the moments you describe, Michelle. And in saying that chivalry is dead, this piece’s purpose is to elicit the very actionable response you’ve given: ‘No. No, it isn’t.’

        Liked by 1 person

      • And I know you aren’t about to let it die either. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • No, I cannot. I’m threaded through with it in belief and dream. I’m no infallible example of it, to be sure, but I have a few beautiful, precocious reasons to continue investing that faith!

        Liked by 1 person

      • And at least three of them to be sure! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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