For Patrick

For my big brother's birthday, I thought to write him a poem. As I post this, I'm reminded of a New Yorker cartoon, in which Shakespeare is sitting with a very unenthusiastic-looking woman. The caption reads, "Gee thanks, another sonnet." 

For Patrick

That time at the pool party
some mean kid held me
under the water
on purpose,
I was scared,
when you grabbed me,
swiftly pulled me up
to the air.

I remember
lying on the wet cement,
possibly after being chest-pumped,
at least coughing water,

You saved me.

My big brother,
the alpha sibling,
you’ve always been
looking out for me.

From my first day,
on earth
I’ve adored you.
But as my
actual hero

I still revere you.


A Gift of Perspective

A Gift of Perspective

~ To My Father On His 70th Birthday
    September 3, 2016

Holding tight to your neck
riding on your shoulders,
this panarama of the universe
in McKennan Park from
oh-so-high is my earliest
memory. Feeling safe yet
exhilarated and very special
to be carried aloft by you.
From up here a new wide
vantage point on everything.
I was two maybe, who knows,
but the sensation remains
even now forty years later.

You, father and friend,
taught me a way to see
life through a lens
of kindness, generosity,
enthusiasm, good humor,
optimism and confidence
as you did.

I came to learn
not everyone views
the world like this.

When, if tallying up
accomplishments in a life
deeply-lived thus far,
you may have some regrets
and disappointments
as any human will,
please know
you have given a daughter
this perspective;
in fact all this
ravishing world.