Breezes

summer comes to a close
autumnal breezes waft
rustling memories of those
days when the close of summer
had more definitive endings

sun-drenched days of youthful
frolic, innocent play, done

swimming, playing with frogs in
holes dug on sandy beaches at
grandparent’s homes; ‘the lake’
summer Xanadus of childhood
one year, scenic backdrops for
advancing adolescence the next

the summer dented pails,
bent shovels lay unused in
boathouse corner; replaced with
initials inside a heart, drawn
artfully at dusk in beach sand with
carefully chosen stick, just to be
erased by evening’s gentle waves

Previous summers we traveled
in packs along endless lakeshore
some ‘ooing’ over discovered shells
all ‘eewing!’ over dead, bloated fish
skipping rocks to show machismo

But our duo walks became more
intimate strolls through the woods
privacy trumping pinecone collection,
coy separation from the collective
group not as subtle as we hoped

Each summer indelible as the
next; parts of many years blending
seamlessly together, a montage of
youthful Julys, childhood vacations

But the starkness of one summer
that is viewed not with the gauziness
of looking back fondly, but with clarity
of time, place, purpose…firsts.

One brilliant, Kodacolor snapshot
that never made it into any scrapbook
yet still remains the clearest picture

especially when summer ends
and the breezes of fall swirl

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

Muse bemuse

Erato

She has been a muse
nothing more and
everything less
since we met as teens

inspiration still flows
from a fleeting reminder;
hearing her name
(commonly used by others
out of parental laziness)
the searing stubbed-toe
pain of an emotional owie
only she could’ve kissed
and made better

longing springs from trying
to remember just why
pinpoint specifics of how;
pixellated memories
vaguely distinguishable
from imagination

I was never her destiny
not even on the periphery
of being a fallback option
as I don’t believe she ever
wrote a single word of me,
save long-ago-stopped-
exchanging Christmas cards

Thalia

as my muse she has become
more verb than noun
a contemplative touchstone
to a time when faux
inspired creativity passed
for honest insight

confirming my relief that
I am neither sculptor or
painter…but a simple poet
– prone to and forgiven for –
hyperbole and other creative
transgressions, writing with
suspended creative license,
failing to not yield
to the pedestrian

Smörgåsbord

There are many
different
kinds of love

puppy
brotherly
unrequited
passionate
secret
eternal
young
first
true

having oft
indulged in
at least
a smattering
of each morsel
mixing entrées
salads
desserts on
the same plate

I am woefully
unqualified
to distinguish
tasty from savory
overcooked from
underdone yucky
from delectable

still I happily
grab a fresh plate
for another pass

Like son, like father

The daughter of close friends
looks at my son like that

they have known each other
since first grade – a time when
looking at each other like that
would have been unthinkable;
icky, gross…dis-GUS-ting!

Now she looks at him like that

When I first noticed her looking
his obliviousness was a comfort
but now he looks like that
at someone else, still clueless

I remember the summer I was
fifteen, noticing for the first time
looks like that directed at me…

thought were aimed at me
until late July’s heat removed all
ambiguity, before summer escaped

He doesn’t yet realize but it’s the
un-auditioned for role-of-a-lifetime
the chance for a starring turn
as someone else’s first love

A Minnesotan’s First Love

I was a good friend of her brother –
he knows, but has never said a word

On the rare occasions we still meet
he smiles a knowledgable,
unbelieving, remembering grin
and I always wonder, after all of the
years that have passed, just how much
she has told him…

or if he figured it all out on his own
just watching her face during family
dinner-table reminisces about those
warm northwoods summers at the lake.