Gifts and Purposes

 Your mother is dying,

Not desperate, but rather,

Her time is near.


She is Mom,

And you need to be near too.


She needs to remember

Your first bicycle,

And when, if you wanted

Your pants ironed better,

She decided it was time for you

To learn to iron.


She needs to remember that great camping trip

When you burned your hand wondering

If the stove pipe was hot.


When you came home drunk with something to write,

After your first real girlfriend

Found someone else.

She found the space for you to write

And a little more wine.

She never said a word.


You need to remember that too.

You both need to laugh.


Your brother is being a dick,

Which he always could be pretty good at.


But Mom is looking like a puppy,

Looking at a pile of poop on the floor,

Not remembering that she did it.


And it is not okay,

But how to change it?


He’s wound tight too,

And just doesn’t see.



You’re 1500 miles from

Whatever home you have,

And spent the money for your daughter’s first car

Getting here, and it had to happen.

It is important.


And your ex took her by a car lot today

And bought her a new car

So much better than you could have.


Your ex was always a lot better at money than you,

And not too long on co-ordination,

Or accidents.

And it is really stupid.

But Darling Daughter does have the car she needs.


It felt like your last chance with your daughter.

Maybe it was.


Being here is important,

Maybe she’ll understand,



Mom does need to laugh,

To step away from her fears,

You can help.


And you, you’re in the middle of writing new material

For a new record.


Ripping the rhythms and phrases

From an awkward life.


Angles and thoughts,

Tensions and releases,

Which connect,

Which are real, fully real,

Fully life.


Which played

For people who don’t care

Before, or after,

do care now.


Angles and phrases

From life, which are real,

And are the best you’ve ever done.


Picasso said something like:

“your ability is your gift,

Giving it away is your purpose.”


Which is one thing to read

And another to live.


So…why would you protest,

And write,

And drink wine,

When you are not all that surprised?


You simply haven’t learned

To make it different.


It is your life.



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