Odds and Ends No. 69


I’m still in Oxford by way of Endeavor
back to Inspector Lewis but not sure
why I’m watching these over and over.

A middle of the week martini is rare for
me as was the salad. It was either that
or throw the lettuce out tomorrow.

The BBC must be part of my grieving
process or some process not sure
at this point.

What could have been a productive
book editing day turned into a so-so
OneNote vs. Evernote shoot out.

Add to that late afternoon thunder
storms and the day was meant to
be weird. The joy of the day was

texting you, loving you by emoji
and laughter that neither of us
could hear, but could feel deep

down inside we miss each other
so very much. Martini, salad,
cheese, and a few crackers with

Lewis and Hathaway where I
found them ten years ago made
me think about where I might

be ten years from now. Then, I
decided that wasn’t a good idea.
When I had a plan the future

went awry. Wrong plan. So, I don’t
have a plan beyond today and the
future remains a mystery. I put my

dishes in the sink and decided it
was far better for me to think of
you; so I smiled as I thought about

what it would be like to touch your
hand or trace your lips with my
finger and how lovely it would be

to linger over coffee with you every
morning for the rest of my life and
talk about anything at all.

Forevermore


when I read
what you wrote
long ago

today

“you wanted to
talk to me” and
share so much

I may never know
your “soft slow
kisses”

how much I
ached for what
I missed then

fear being the
flip side of
hope

I ruminated
about us now
and then

about your
love and
your pain

my dearest

know that if
I could stop
time I would

because forever
has no time
and no tears

because forever
is not a when
it is a where

where then and
now touch
forevermore

Comic Books to Codebooks


Did you ever notice that when
you are looking all over the place
for something, you find something
else you weren’t looking for?

I found a brand new deck of cards
in the bathroom closet. What for?
Spider solitaire on my phone is one
thing, but playing cards?

As I made a poor attempt to shuffle,
I realized that I’m just as bad at cards
now as I was in the nineteen seventies.
My brain doesn’t think cards. Period.

War and Go Fish came to mind. If you
had kids in the previous century you
know what I’m talking about here.
Does anyone play cards anymore?

My parent’s generation played cards
or mahjong every week it seems.
Things change. But do we change?
I’ve never been a card player.

A few games of Gin Rummy a few
times a decade was my limit.
No interest in casinos or gambling.
Life is gamble enough for me.

I remembered an earlier, different
time. Whenever we deployed on
an exercise, Sergeant K would
pull out his favorite board game

in the dead of night somewhere
in the woods in Germany to pass
the time in our operations van
waiting for inspectors to show.

I guess I could have said that
without using “in” a million times;
but, I’m not going to change it.
Some things you don’t change.

Can you imagine? Sitting there
responsible for tactical nuclear
release and playing “Risk: The
Game of Global Domination.”

1970s. No smartphones, no PCs.
Books, games, and cards were
about it when you were deployed.
Looking back, I’m not convinced

that technology has done anything
to improve who we are and how
we act human to human. It seems
to me that life then and now could

go from comic books to codebooks
in a heartbeat. Maybe not so bad.
Certainly not as bad as watching
“Dallas” reruns in German.

 

 

Flashlight Giggles


A blustery sky muscled in on
my sunny day. And storm clouds
darkened the afternoon so

much so, that I put on a sweater
that had some dust on the collar
from hanging next to two other

sweaters and an old khaki vest
I forgot I still had. Well, let’s
see! I wore it the last time I

took the girls camping and
made them pancakes. Doesn’t

seem like twenty plus years
ago. Could be more. The hot
tea took away the morning

chill for me then and now as
I watch the stealth of night
swallow up the stormy sky.

I made sure I didn’t fall asleep
until I didn’t hear anymore
laughter coming from the girls

tent. The camp grounds were
getting dark. A few fires here
and there. And there were

Christmas lights blinking on
and off strung loosely around
a camper on the back of an

old Dodge pickup across from
us. Wipe the smile off your
face—it was June. Justice takes

many forms. And can be swift.
The Dodge had a pull out
awning with a table under it.

And a trash can next to it. The
silly lights blinked and I finally
fell asleep. There was a loud

crash. Then, I heard the girls
scream. It was a raccoon attack.
First, the table and trash can;

then, the Dodge. String lights
out. Dodge headlights on. Sure
was dark when they pulled out.

Justice. Flashlight giggles gave
way to sleep. The sun took its
time breaking through the

trees. Pancakes with M&Ms
were probably forgotten, but
not the attack of the raccoons.

I smiled, took my last two sips
of tea, and was glad that I
kept the vest. Still could storm.