No Going Back


In the slap-face cold of abandoned farms
Tall grasses starched white in the torch beam’s track

Small stones chatter on the narrow dirt path
Somewhere an owl gloats:There’s no going back.

Youth’s eaten up, he preaches from his oak
As if I’m prey in the rip of his fear.
That’s fine and well, I hiss back to the black
So much of that youth went down with the beer!

Your power, too—picture his blink, so “wise”—
Push-and-shoving at the wield of a pen.

Ha! At a price you well know—sleepless nights
I’d wear no stripes back in office again.

What about love?, probes haughty old Flatface
There’s no repairing the damage done there.
That’s true and painful (I trip on the path)
One gets as good as one gives, I declare.

Your young have long fledged, what need of you now?

No second chances to rear with more skill.

Ah, there’s so much I would do otherwise
They’ve flown, or fallen. They talk to me still.

Midnight calls, owls have better mice to fry
White noise underfoot, return through black trees
There’s wine in the jar, dry wood in the stove

Half a night left to go back as I please.

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