Better Off

Your heavy, calicoed hands
stay balled up. Never open
to another’s. Your lifeless
arms always stay crossed
looking like you just lost.
Your patience went astray,
yet the frustration stayed.
The time I’ve been away
has shown me a new life
consisting of better days.
In many ways, I’m better
off not finding the things
that forever remain lost.

Father Time

Don’t hit fast-forward.
Don’t press rewind.
Press play and watch
memories from the past
come to life. Take it
slow and pay attention
to the days that pass by
most of our closed eyes.
Look too far and miss
today. Don’t look at all
as our doubts grow tall.
Don’t rush. In our lives,
things may come and go,
yet we will come to learn
there is more to know.
Father time has his hands
full with grains of sand
flowing to his sandals.
Only he knows when
his palms are empty.
Only we can know that
this life is a blessing.

The Final Stage

The final stage is in range.
The blood, sweat, and tears
were sincere. The highs
and lows that I felt
were never in vain.
I push off the shore into
the final stage. My boat
floats without resistance
toward a solitary island
in the distance. Onward,
I go: it’s coming to a close.
The final stage is where
I must be. There’s a final
boss that I must beat.
The last, final stage
will be the best one
I will have played
in this fateful game.

Push or Pull

Doors tell us to push or pull;
people do no such thing.
With people, we don’t know
which to do. We pull people
closer or we push them away.
Sadly, it’s always hard to say
whether to push or to pull.
Do we empty our glasses
before they become full?
Before we make the call,
let’s think about it all.
Let me ask: push or pull?
Whichever one you chose,
close the door behind you.


The discolored worn leather makes

for a better story. Cutting my hands

and diving for you on the hot asphalt made

my therapy at first appear dangerous,

but nothing else matters when it is

me and you. Timeouts rarely helped,

because time in this game counts

and sometimes runs out when

when the ball drops. The clock is watched

and clicks slower when I have

you in-between my dedicated hands.

Escaping to the hardwood with you

to the dust-filled court made my

problems seem miniscule. The pressurized

leather circle of hope eliminates stress

and shoots any doubt down through

a safety net weaved together by

individual strands working as a team.

Across the floor I cannot see anyone

and the path is clear, can I trust

my team mate to perform under stress?

The question is important because

someone can take you to the top

and others will make you quit

and miss. You give and receive attention,

but it betters me in the end. You provide

answers to questions that confuse me.

On Sundays, or on vacation miles away,

I find your home, bring your circular body

and forget the reasons that brought me there.

I pull the trigger and burn the nylon,

glow in the dark or chained, You have the

scent of waxed wood and years of history

that was built by people in situations

only you’re familiar with. The scar on

my left eyebrow is proof of how much

of an impact you left on me.

Dreaming I was on the team that treated

you the best. You wanted me when others didn’t

and that is why I continue to use you.

You have brought many friendships

and a valid reason to ditch

a Math or Science class early. Legends

once used you as a tool to make it out,

make it in, or be someone in the world.

And when I think about our relationship,

all I can do is smile because of the long walks,

brisk jogs, and exhausting sprints we did.

I place you in my hands and close my eyes,

say a few words before I throw you towards

the back of the iron, putting it all at the line.

And when I hold my hand high and

my breath long, I know I won because I

as I took a shot, I let go.