Archive for the ‘AA – Fair’ Category

1976-12-24 Christmas Eve

Friday, December 24th, 1976
                          Christmas Eve

      With watery blue eyes and Norwegian accent,
      Hallard told me, with dignity,
      how it is to live on, afterwards.
      Not much to do at home;
      just the little dog she loved, waiting.

      Chuck's wife, Etta, had said
      he was sleeping on those same sheets
      she had put down after the funeral...
      sleeping in those same pajamas
      and never cleaning up after the dog,
      just spending the evenings in the bars
      until it was time to go to work again.

      Chuck talked a lot; a compulsion.
      He told me about the doctors
      and how hard it was to get the straight
      about those spots on the x-rays.
      One doctor was going to pass him off to another
      without asking him, but he cut him short.
      If they wouldn't consult with him, he'd look elsewhere.

      Rose said he's dying of cancer and that Etta knows it
      but that they don't think he does.
      Etta, I had thought, must be a little simple...
      how she walked around and smiled meekly.
      Unobtrusively passing in and out of our moments,
      not sad, just brittle, like a hurt child
      trying to be good.

      Hallard sat telling me how nice it was
      to have the family together at Christmas...
      the holidays were lonely times since his wife had passed on.

      And I'd been tolerant - pleasant to all of them;
      Rose's relatives and their holiday gathering.
      A bit boisterous and condescending and bored,
      and telling Rose, with barely concealed pride,
      how well I was putting up with it all.

      Hallard will go back to his Los Angeles apartment and his dog
      and Chuck and Etta will go back back to Washington like Rose's parents
      and these moments won't pass again for any of us.

      We won't sit here again in our ignorance and pain,
      the young and the old, the condescending and the patient...

      But its not so bad for us to be here together;
      they see us as spirits yet unbent
      and they can yet find some meaning and hope
      in our ignorance and our condensation and confidence.
      They were young once.

      And we, if our eyes were opened, would see great courage there
      in their eyes and their hours, courage, without cheering,
      courage in the face of death, aging and agony
      and in the face of our condescending youth.

                                 24 Dec 76

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —


Tuesday, June 19th, 1979

         Ten years I've loved this girl
         and I'm falling in love with her again.
         I'm beyond trying to understand
         what we are or what we'll be.
         Its just enough that life can hold this much for me;
         that I should love someone like Rose
         and that she could love someone like me.

         No mystery there of first time flesh, new skin to touch.
         No modesty or politeness, no measuring or comparing
         and yet, new.

         Each evolution of kindness is built
         on all that went before.
         Each caring, each easy assumption, each knowing...
         The appreciation of time and love's memories
         pressed in the squeeze of a hand.
         That happy glow just to join company.

         Its been so long since we've had pause to grow;
         divorce, lovers, bitter words,
         pain, growth, ...all unchangeable,
         all necessary for us to come here to this new love.

                                    19 Jun 1979

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —


Tuesday, October 25th, 1983
      Voices against an unstoppable trend
         peace, ecology...
      I hear sanity out there
         in fictional works and splinter movements
      Germany's Greens...Amnesty International...
      Small fragments bobbing on the river of history
         bound for the sea of final realities
         to a final ocean of silence and armageddon
      But...I hear no forming consensus
         no rising conviction ever wider held
         that the issues ARE critical
         that the implications ARE deadly
      That this paradise of nature
         and the wonder of our children's eyes
         our plastic everythings and ego competitive structures
      are all tissue paper illusions
         against an unforgiving reality
      I hold those I love and wipe my eyes
         that I might better see beyond the immediate moment
         beyond the local forms which seem so permanent
      the paychecks, the city streets and their names
      There, the news that plays before us like some global soap-opera
         against the force of our blind consensus reality
         that says there are no problems unless we agree there are
      I want to see where this history is carrying us
                                    25 oct 83

— Copyright 1965-2008 by Dennis Gallagher —