Put on your shoes

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

      Laozi

Our journey has finally begun road1.jpg
there have been
fits, starts, delays
in getting here; now
finally underway, I am ill at ease

The irony, not lost on me

An inveterate wanderer, –
‘Mr. Spontaneity’ to friends, family
I do not like not having an even
rudimentary itinerary
I find myself in the driver’s seat,
riding unwilling shotgun

Where this road takes us, unclear.
I know where we are going  –
in abstract theory
our route is well-traveled,
mapped out and useless
“This way” our only directional cue

Traveling companions
our conversations more and
more disjointed, repetitive
yet replete with always new insights
wisdom, perspectives – shared,
dispersed like random gumballs

I wanted the yellow, got the red
still a gumball.
Something innocuous to chew onroad3

People sometimes remember
in order to forget;
not by choice, yours a different tack
forgetting to not remember
remembering the obscurity of what was
oblivious at time to what is

except when you aren’t.

Your navigational skills
no longer reliable
I steer conversation to a time of
your place and choosing
where with alarming alacrity
you can recall, recite
the mundane and profound
as I work to remember
to try and not forget, while keeping
my eyes on the road ahead,

utilizing little more than stray
magazine articles and brochures,
well-meaning advice,and gut instinct
all the while striving to keep us moving
forward, using the rear-view mirror

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2018
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

Put on your shoes

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

      Laozi

Our journey has finally begun
there have been
fits, starts, delays
in getting here; now
finally underway, I am ill at ease

The irony, not lost on me

An inveterate wanderer, –
‘Mr. Spontaneity’ to friends, family
I do not like not having an even
rudimentary itinerary
I find myself in the driver’s seat,
riding unwilling shotgun

Where this road takes us, unclear.
I know where we are going  –
in abstract theory
our route is well-traveled,
mapped out and useless
“This way” our only directional cue

Traveling companions
our conversations more and
more disjointed, repetitive
yet replete with always new insights
wisdom, perspective shared,
dispersed like random gumballs

I wanted the yellow, got the red
still a gumball.
something innocuous to chew on

People sometimes remember
in order to forget;
not by choice, yours a different tack
forgetting to not remember
remembering the obscurity of what was
oblivious at time to what is

except when you aren’t.

Your navigational skills
no longer reliable
I steer conversation to a time of
your place and choosing
where with alarming alacrity
you can recall, recite
the mundane and profound
as I work to remember
to try and not forget, while keeping
my eyes on the road ahead,

utilizing little more than stray
magazine articles and brochures,
well-meaning advice,and gut instinct
all the while striving to keep us moving
forward, using the rear-view mirror

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017
http://lrd.to/sxh9jntSbd

In (and out) of the loop

local coffee place
sipping my solitary cup
checking email

next table over
a group of men older
than I, age gap not of
grandfather-grandson
severity

the six zealously swap
tales of doctor visits with
enthusiasm once reserved
for one-night stands
summer romances

familiar names swirl
through their regaling
conversation;
Alzheimer’s, Chron’s,
Cirrhosis taking the places
of honor once held by
Mantle, Mays, Snyder

reeling off statistics like
they were twelve again
arguing conflicting treatments
with firm convictions that
their guy is absolutely
the better player

the conversation is
not foreign to me
only the proximity

mornings often find me in
front of my laptop
messaging with friends from
various stages of my life
scattered at far-flung locales
sharing their struggles
acknowledging my grudgingly
accepting empathy of
Parkinson’s, arthritis, diabetes

their statistics quoted from
doctor’s words, websites read,
support groups attended
and I thankfully, at times
guiltily have little to add

taking a final sip of coffee
I can simply log off, get up,
leave my tip on the table
or mug by my computer
thoughtfully walk away

Mark Lucker

Taking a concession stand

I hate it when somebody
states they are ‘making
concessions’ to middle age

I find mid-life to be a
wonderful carnival
the only concessions
those to be purchased
to quench a thirst
sate a hunger

I stroll the middle age
midway impervious to the
shill’s siren-call of con-men
barkers offering relief
enhancement and release
me, laughing at the
gullibility of others

I can stroll casually
letting the sights and sounds
of life’s extravagance simply
soak in or wash over me

stopping when I am hungry
free, now, to indulge
without fear of distraction or
spilled mustard on my shirt

Mark Lucker

Crisis averted

I watch my peers unsteadily
trampling middle age
sitting on various benchmarks
when they need to or
when they just want to watch

older, we are, most certainly
wiser is a tougher read
for those denying the
need for glasses or just
out of myopic stubbornness

when, what, why, how, where
the cryptic mysteries of
befuddled youth given way
to smug satisfaction dispensing
collected answers as flippant
Confucius-wannabes

I observe my peers gleefully
trampling middle age
cheering various barometers,
just because, with a gusto once
reserved for campus protests
thumbing their collective noses

things are much clearer
viewed in digital 20/20 hindsight
with the impish assurance
that they know a bunch of stuff
the rest of you do not

Refraction

Looking in the mirror I see the
faces of a lifetime in midstream
sometimes it’s a group photo –
staged formality that doesn’t fit

there are candid shot mornings
and wide-angle shots that distort
while others crowd everyone
together but not everybody fits
in the frame but the picture
gets taken anyway.

Looking in the mirror I see the
faces of the me that were the me’s
that I have become, the somebodys
I still want to be someday

sometimes they come together
in the same shot and if were not
for the mesmerizing eyes
I wouldn’t recognize
a soul.