The Ones You Meet Crossing Over

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Thing Three

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Thing Two

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Ghosts in the Gale

Perhaps it’s the random works of this big world, or it’s due to climate change.
One thing for sure is the wind this year is nothing short of strange.
And with that said I’ll also add that it seems that everything is entwined.
How else could a bit of rough weather bring old memories back to mind?

The recent storms that we’ve endured have brought me back to my fifth grade.
And a take-home storytelling assignment and how a bags of it I made.
I half-listened my teacher’s words; never bothered to write them down.
Only thought of it the night before ‘twas due, “Now what did she say?” I frowned.

Oh, yes, It suddenly came to me—get a story my parents tell.
I asked my father, and he then sat down and thought of it a spell.
“Here’s one from when I was a boy about the same as you
It’s of a near-disaster and every word I say is true.”

So, dutifully I wrote it down and added a few lines of my own.
Next day at school when the assignment came up I realized, with a groan
I’d done it wrong. A true story was not what it was supposed to be
so I kept my head down and the teacher never called on me, thankfully.

When the class was over I “thought that is that for me”.
But recent windstorms somehow rekindled that long lost memory.
And now, the tale I wrote down in the scribbler I since have thrown away
Is worth the time to relate to you, on this blustery, windy day.

My Dad was, like me, a teacher, but all the Barrys before he
were planters, which meant they owned land and made a living at the sea.
In western boats, two-masted schooners, of thirty feet or more,
they went to the cape for days at a time and returned again, full-store.

One fine day in August my grandfather left to catch his fish for Lady Day.
Said, “The weather’s fine and the fishing’s good, so I won’t be long away.”
Still as it sometimes happens, a late-summer storm from out of nowhere came.
With gale-force winds and driving rain, “I hope they’re safe,” Mrs. Maggie did exclaim.

A few boats returned that evening, much worse for the wear.
But of Skipper Billy Barry’s crew there was no hide, nor hair.
The community went to the church to pray, as there wasn’t any news.
and offered up the rosary for the safe return of all the crews.

The night passed slowly. Nobody slept. The whole house shook and creaked.
‘Til sometime in that fearsome night the worst of it had peaked.
The morning light showed some wharves wrecked and the lighthouse it had burned.
But thankfully it could be seen that most boats had returned.

But not skipper Billy’s Western Boat, the aging Mystical Rose.
My grandma sat by the window saying, “They’re in God’s hands I suppose.”
Until at last, she sat up straight. “He’s back,” was all she said
while Dad almost tripped up in himself as, down to the wharf he fled.

The boat was quite a pitiful sight that would fill you up with gloom.
Nothing flying but the mainsail, and no sign of her jib boom.
All hands on deck with sculling oars and she, listing to her starboard side.
Still they all made it back, hold brimmed with fish, and onto the wharf they tied.

His wife met grandad at the door, “Your supper’s on the heating rack.
You had me worried, and you surely took your time in getting back.”
Still the story was not ended, even though that part went well.
Later after supper Skipper Billy had yet another tale to tell.

After a good day fishing, splitting and gutting the hold was mostly stogged.
And a decent southwest wind was driving them back home through the fog.
When from out of nowhere big gust came, drove the boom across his rib
And as he stood back up he saw it shred both the foresail and the jib.

He knew that out on the open bay they would not last for long.
Between the torn-up sails, the swell, the rain and the wind that was so strong.
But all that was near was a deserted harbour most sailors did eschew.
Rumour of an evil thing that happened there still struck fear in every crew.

The situation worsened by the hour as the ship began to list.
But the protestations of the frightened crew continued to persist.
Until at length an unfamiliar ship, an old square-rigged brigantine,
went through the narrows, and hove right too, a most unexpected scene.

Now that the harbour was no longer empty the crew agreed to go.
So they limped in to find shelter there and dropped anchor there although
the other ship was silent and dark with nar a hand on deck.
Still better in this eerie harbour than to be assured of wreck.

Skipper Billy stayed on deck, at watch, but told the crew to go below.
Said “you’ll need to be rested up for when we get the chance to go.”
But just after dark, to his surprise, he thought he saw a fire on the beach.
Strange for this abandoned place, so for his spyglass he did reach.

It was indeed a bonfire, and what’s more people gathered all round it
He wondered how through the wind and rain it managed to stay lit.
Taking a closer look he realized they were beckoning to him.
So he made as to head in to shore for their situation appeared grim.

But then, to his great surprise, the brigantine weighted anchor and, with lights aglow
situated itself between him and the beach so he could no further go.
Undaunted, he retied the main boom and tried another tack.
But the bigger ship also came about and once again stopped him in his tracks.

This went on for quite some time, until the winds eased up at last.
By now exhausted, he dropped anchor and sail and tied it all full fast.
Decided to sit down for a spell for he was feeling fully spent.
And since the stress had taken quite the toll, right off to sleep he went.

Next morning, he awoke to calm seas and the sun so bright.
But of the brigantine, and the people on the beach there was no clue or sight.
And as all hands were anxious to return home, he put it from his mind.
For, getting the Mystical Rose back to her berth took all their strengths combined.

All hands looked at grandad askance, “I’m telling no lies!” he swore.
But his aged father, Maurice, then stirred saying, “It’s true and I can add some more.
There’s a thing I witnessed when I was young, and long before my prime
that I’ve never told my family, but now I suppose it’s time.”

“As a boy of 12 I left my home, signed on to a brigantine.
And about a month in we faced a storm like the one you just have seen.
We pulled into that very harbour, our sails, too, were tore.
And we also saw the fire on the beach and the people waving us ashore.

We brought the ship close in as we dared and fired them off a line.
But it turned out their intentions were far from just benign.
Instead of thanking us for saving them, once they were all aboard.
They produced weapons and all the crew but me they then put to the sword.

I tried to sneak for the fo’c’sle hatch and down below I dove.
But one of them chased me below, and between us we knocked over the stove.
The ship caught fire right then and there before you could even blink.
Only I escaped as the works of it burned up and then did sink.

Somehow I found my way to this place and here I did remain.
And speaking of that tragedy, I mostly have abstained.
Billy at his father looked, “Was that a ghost that saved me yesterday?”
But Maurice said not another word and there the story stayed.

And now, as I sit safe in my house, riding out this latest gale,
I’m reminded after all these years of that eerie, once-told tale.
And whether there are times when our world with that of the spirits do collide
I have my opinion, but I’ll leave that part for you, too to decide.

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Poker in the Stage

We live in times of wonder, yes with stories all around
and marvelous new inventions that continue to astound.
That said, we shouldn’t ever forget those who, before us, came.
For if you went back and chatted with them I’m sure they’d say the same.

Now, if you who know me you should be aware that I’m most in my glee
when telling stories, but it’s also true of those who lived here before me.
My parents and their forebears all loved spinning fine yarns too.
And even my great grandad, same name as me, and his tale I’ll tell to you.

It was in Red Island, Placentia Bay about a hundred and fifty years ago.
My granddad, Skipper Billy Barry was just ten or twelve or so.
Now, I heard it from my father when I was about as old as he was then.
And since that day I’ve passed it on so many times again.

One evening, after Rosary, Great Grandad got his baccy and his pipe.
“You’re going at the poker, aren’t ya,” his dear old wife did gripe.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love you well, but it will never lead to good.
Fitter for you to get rested up for tomorrow like you should.

But Maurice smiled in his charming way. “It’s a bit of harmless fun.
Sure we only plays for baccy and I loves to smoke what I have won.”
She turned to young Billy, “Go on with him and mind he doesn’t stay too late.”
So he grabbed his coat and chased after him, already past the garden gate.

Now, in his haste Billy tripped and fell and there, entangled in his toes
was his father’s treasured rosary beads, that must have fallen from his clothes.
He stuffed them in his pocket, his mind more on his knees that felt so sore 
and caught his father at his fishing stage as he opened up the door.

Billy helped his dad put away the gear, and wash down the splitting table.
And as Maurice tarped its top, lugged in as much wood as he was able.
They lit the lamp and started the fire in the old pot belly stove.
Soon after, other livyers arrived from here and there around the cove.

They all sat around the splitting table and cards from the deck were drawn.
While Billy sat as close as he dared to better see the goings on.
But before they started there was a creak and then a knock on the stage door frame.
From out on the wharf a deep voice intoned, “Mind if I join your little game?”

He opened the door and he stepped inside, a most imposing sight.
Tall and slim, dressed all in black, still his goateed face a ghostly white.
Pulled up a bench and set it down right over the trunkhole hatch
and Billy sneezed at an acrid smell, though nobody’d struck a match.

“And who are you?” Maurice asked, “Did you come with the priest this way?
I’m sure I saw his boat arrive from Placentia earlier today.”
The stranger grinned. “You’re not quite right but you’re not exactly wrong.
Although he doesn’t know it, you might say I simply tagged along.”

Billy saw from Maurice’s expression that he didn’t quite understand.
Still he took the deck and without a word, dealt him out a hand.
Soon all hands were settled in though, strangely, hardly a word was spoke.
Perhaps it was the heat or the eerie edge to the stranger’s baccy smoke.

The stranger had uncanny luck, never short of a King, Queen, Jack or Ace.
Billy saw his dad knew something was up by the look spread across his face.
Still Maurice’s skill must have made it up as he too won his share of hands.
‘Til at length the stranger said to him, “it’s just the two of us that stands.”

And as it was his turn Maurice took the deck and dealt the hands once more.
But as he finished, his trembling fingers lost his last card upon the floor.
Still his son could tell from his vantage point this slip was no mistake.
And while picking it up a furtive  glance at the stranger’s sleeve did take.

And Billy, in turn, also bent down and followed his fathers eyes.
But in that fleeting moment they both noticed to their surprise.
Even though the sleeve seemed empty, and of cheating there was no proof.
Instead of feet inside of shoes the stranger’s legs ended in cloven hooves.

Maurice’s hands shook now for real as he straightened in his chair.
And Billy tried to look away as he, too, tried to mask his fear.
But the stranger smiled, put down his cards, said, “I see you sense what is afoot.”
And a strange red glow came from his eyes, formerly black as soot.

“Go get the priest,” Maurice murmured, but the men seemed frozen with the fear.
“Or get the holy water to drive that thing from out of here.”
Billy looked around for something, anything that he might try.
Then grabbed the rosary from his pocket, stood up, and held it high.

The stranger’s face then eased a little and Billy thought he saw a grin.
“This is no business for young ones like you, so perhaps I’ll return again.
I should be feared, but you must know there’s worse around than me.
And until you figure that for yourselves for now I’ll let you be.”

With that he leapt out on the wharf and grew they swear five-fold.
Away he flew toward the hill behind the graveyard, I’ve been told.
And straight through it he then did blast and a gap through it he drove
The pass we now call the Devil’s Bit ‘tween the harbour and Margery Cove.

And to this day the story is told about that poker game.
Who was the stranger? We have to guess, for he never spoke his name.
Maurice quit the poker for fear he’d again be similarly beguiled.
Still, he never tired of telling of the day he said “Da Divvil” came to old Red Isle.

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Anyone for Jiggs?

Some tubs are labelled “naval beef”
As ‘twas fed to those who worked at sea.
It’s also spelled “navel” since it’s supposedly cut
from the plate by the cows belly.
So which is right? Well, if it has bones
It’s brisket and God knows what more.
Call it “salt meat” like my mother did
‘cause it’s the trimmings from off the floor.

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Free

Putting away a  book display
that’s been up for far too long,
the covers brought a wealth of thought—
old memories, but still strong,

My mind, then cast to a time long past,
my foggy outport home down by the sea:
no arena, no gym, no place to swim,
barely two channels on TV.

And used I be bored? No, I explored;
the library was the place for me;
books, magazines (there were no screens).
“Libre” meant in many ways, “I’m free.”

And now these days I’m happy to say
I’m in a place where that spirit is not astray
and I note with pride, one’s right by my side
to once more spirit me away.

Some of the books from the display. I returned all but “The House of the Scorpion” which I’m reading right now.

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What Remains

©2021 Maurice Barry

“Probably best to take the Mystical Rose. That way we can all go together,” said Chrissy, one hand waving in the direction of the wharf. “what with the wind and fog.”

Martin put on his glasses and squinted. “Fifteen, but they’re all just moping around. More than I’d expected, under the circumstances. No kids?”

Chrissy shrugged, “Not vaccinated I suppose.”

“But it’s all outdoors,” said Martin, his hands digging through both coat pockets, then relaxing when he found the now familiar scrunchy balls of fabric, some used, some not. “More like nobody wants to get together anymore, even for this.”

On tiptoes, he felt, without success for the urns, normally tucked away on top of the battered china cabinet.

“Ellen came by this morning and picked them up. Come on, we goes.”

“Both of them?” Martin called after her as she headed down the laneway that led to the wharf.

Chrissy answered without turning around as she motioned to the crowd, gathered on the wharf, to get on board the longliner, “Both urns or her and Rory? Either way it’s a yes.”

Chrissy started the engine and Martin began untying from the wharf.

“I saw them head out earlier in Rougille’s Draw. Rory was taking his time for a change. Come to think of it they had a few extra people on board too, besides their own crowd.”

Martin shivered as a gust of air dampened his face. He fitted his cap a little tighter on his head and buttoned the windbreaker all the way up. Aside from himself, nobody was left on deck. As Chrissy eased the boat away from the wharf he stole a glance down for’d. In the glow of a dozen or more screens he saw pasty faces, mostly void of expression. “How can fifteen people all be looking away from one another?”

The roar of the diesel intensified as the vessel passed the lighthouse and hit the open water. Martin ducked inside the wheelhouse and braced himself against one side while Chrissy steered. “Can’t even see the Tolt today,” he remarked. “Just the radar to go by.”

“Awfully quiet down there,” muttered Chrissy. “Not like it was when we brought over Mom’s and Dad’s ashes.”

“Different times, I suppose,” said Martin. “And those phones…”

“It’s more than that. We had phones back fifteen years ago.”

“But not like those ones.”

“True. I still think there’s more. When was the last time we had a crowd on the boat like this?”

“More like when was the last time we had a crowd anywhere, I’d say,” replied Martin as he hung his old cap on the hook beside the door and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Hardly worth the bother,” Chrissy cracked a smile and she turned to face him.

“Of course it’s worth it! It’s what both Pat and Robert wanted, regardless of how quiet and mopish everyone is.”

Chrissy took one hand off the wheel and ran her fingers through Martin’s hair, “I meant doing this. Sure, all you have left is a few strands. Not like when we met.”

“Not bad for sixty-five, if you ask me. Granny.”

“There it is,” Chrissy pointed straight ahead then cut the throttle way back.

“Can barely see the lighthouse,” remarked Martin as Rougille Point drifted slowly astern.

“Looks like Rory and Ellen are tied up at the wharf in front of Robert’s old family home,” said Chrissy as she steered towards the white and red cabin cruiser.

Martin eyed the two-storey about fifty metres in back of the wharf. Bare, weathered wood could be seen through the faded purple paint. One window was boarded up and the roof sagged in the middle. “Place is a lot shabbier than I recall.”

“Nobody stirred the past eighteen months, and besides, Robert never came over in the winter anyway.”

“Any of Amanda’s crowd interested in taking it over?” Martin wondered aloud.

“Doubtful. None of them even came today. Just these.” Sandy reached into her purse and retrieved the little stack of cards.

Martin took one of the cards, opened it, and read, “To Uncle Robert. Hope you finally find peace.”

“They all say much the same,” said Chrissy. “Pretty sure they never really got it.”

“Agreed. Robert was at peace with himself. Just because he never talked about it to his Mom or Dad and never found someone doesn’t mean he had a bad life or lived a lie.”

Chrissy put the cards back in the purse, “Pretty sure your namesake and Mrs. Maria know full well.”

Martin nodded, “True. In the end they simply wanted what was best for Robert and left him to choose.”

“You should have left when we did.”

Looking out through the side window of the pilot house, saw Rory’s grinning face.

“We had a much smoother crossing then you did and besides, the grandkids had a chance to do some exploring before the fog settled back in.”

“Smooth. I guess that matters to some of us,” he said waving his cap at Rory’s cane.

“Now you two. Don’t get started. We all have a job to do,” said Ellen, bending down and opening the bettered blue box resting on the back deck.

“You even broke out Pat’s old steamer trunk!” smiled Martin as he reached across the gunwale and took the silver urn from his sister’s outstretched hand. “Fitting. That trunk brought Pat’s belongings all over the world and now it’s here to help her with her last journey.”

“Speaking of which. How should we do this, I wonder.”

“Since we’re both here I suppose we will do Robert first,” said Ellen, stooping once again and retrieving a slightly tarnished brass urn. “How about we swap? You were always closer to Robert.”

Martin Nodded and they exchanged.

“You by yourselves?” asked Ellen.

“No,” Martin replied.

“I thought these were the only dead ones,” Rory’s muttered comment was barely audible.

“We’re here,” Chrissy shouted from the deck and, one by one, the passengers shuffled to the deck, eyes half closed despite the deepening fog.

Martin grabbed a pickaxe and shovel. Together, he, Chrissy, Rory and Ellen went ashore, and trudged up the mostly overgrown laneway that led to the house. When they reached the apple tree in front of the kitchen window they turned and waited as the others assembled.

“Perhaps we should make a circle?” suggested Ellen.

At first nobody moved. Most stood around looking at the ground or flicking through their phones.

“Like this!” Chrissy’s voice pierced the silence. “You—there, you—there,” she said pointing to the people one by one. After about a minute a ragged circle of little groups formed around the spot in front of the apple tree.

Martin looked across the harbour, past the place where the church one stood and strained to see the gravestones. Only a few were still visible through the new growth forest.

“His wishes,” he thought as he struck the ground with the adze, breaking through the stubborn sod. Two minutes later, sweating profusely, he set the cannister down into the hole. He looked up to see twenty-five pairs of expectant eyes.

“Umm. Ahhh,” he could feel the blood rush to his face as he struggled to say. Something. Anything.

“Let me. You’re winded,” murmured Chrissy, placing one hand softly on his sleeve. Her voice rose. “As you all know, Robert was a man of few words. He preferred that his deeds did the talking. So as we gather here to honour one who was to us, variously, as uncle, friend and teacher, can we each pause for a few minutes and recall some of the times when those actions affected us, personally.”

Martin hung his head down and let the flood of memories come. The boat. The school. The guitar. The art lessons. Realizing the huge smile that he now wore his eyes looked up and around, “How long was I lost in thought?” he wondered. The others seemed not to notice, but they were doing the same. Many, Martin noticed, were daubing their eyes with tissues, yet nobody spoke.

Chrissy nudged him. He retrieved the shoved and filled the hold back in, being careful to put the sod back into place.

Still, nobody moved.

“I suppose that’s it for Robert,” said Martin. “We will walk across the harbour now for Pat.

Once again Martin, Chrissy, Ellen and Rory led the way.

“Feeling your age,” joked Rory. “Too out of breath to say a few words?”

“Yes, that was odd for you,” added Ellen. “After all, you were always so chatty, even as a kid, that Robert always used to joke that you were vaccinated with a gramophone needle!”

“Yes, and here I go choking up without words at his own funeral.”

“Funeral? that was months ago. Via Zoom.” Ellen interjected.

“You know what I mean. Whatever this is. That didn’t feel like a funeral. I just wish I could have—” Martin looked gratefully at Chrissy. “At least one of us managed.”

“You could have done better if this were normal times. But they’re not and so we do what we can I suppose,” replied Chrissy.

Several minutes later the little group was on the other side of the harbour.

“I left the pick and shovel behind,” groaned Martin. “I have to go back over.”

“No need,” said Ellen. “Pat wanted their ashes spread.”

Martin looked around. Their old family cabin was behind him and their Mom and Dad’s wharf, or, rather what was left of it, wat right in front. “Here?”

“Yes, Pat and Claire had the house before Mom and Dad. Remember they bought it from the merchant couple, the Deaseys? And Pat and Claire ran the business until Claire died.”

“Claire, right. She never found another, did she?”

“No they didn’t. I think that after Claire died Pat’s interest in the fishing business died too, along with some other things. From that point it was all academia. And Pat liked it that way.”

Ellen raised her voice and began walking toward the cabin. “And now I will scatter Pat’s ashes the way they wanted them. First I will go up here. Most of you probably don’t know this but our cabin was once a shop. It was built and run by a family called the Deaseys until they died. After that Pat and Claire ran the co-operative that the Deaseys established. Once Claire died, Pat switched careers and became the schoolteacher before going on to become a professor. But Claire had half of her ashes scattered right here in back of the old shop and Pat wanted the same.”

Ellen paused and carefully poured some of the ashes around the tangle of weeds and alders.

“And now for the wharf. Follow me,” she said, setting off back down the hill. “Pat had this wharf rebuilt using materials they bought surplus when they made the naval base over in Argentia. Her Dad, our grandfather and others did the work and look, it’s still strong. Of course it was bigger in those days. Claire spent a lot of time here, as did she and our parents. Pat spread half of Claire’s ashes here and wanted the same done when they died.”

With that Ellen stopped talking and sprinkled the remaining ashes between the cracks on the aged wood.

Martin scanned all around the harbour. Through the fog and he could barely make out the dim outline of the scattered few cabins, as well as the few fishing stages that remained. There were no boats save for the two tied up at Robert’s wharf. There was no sound, save for the gentle creak-lop-lop-lop of the waves against the wharf’s uprights.

“Amazing grace…” Ellen’s powerful soprano brought Martin back to the present and he joined in. Looking around he noticed that the others that also joined in did so with their heads turned downward. Few of the younger ones did at all and those that did seemed not to know the words.

“…Was blind but now I see.” Ellen finished by repeating the first verse.

A stray gust of wind made Martin almost lose his footing and he looked to his right, towards the Tolt, to see an incoming blackness, followed by a brilliant flash.

“That’s one way to end it,” remarked Chrissy.

Martin felt relieved. “Looks like the weather is setting in. Perhaps we should be getting back.”

Martin reached inside his breast pocket, retrieved his phone and tapped the weather app, “Judging by the radar, there won’t be much to the thunderstorm but a big bunch of rain is moving in. Looks like it will be that way until tomorrow.” Raising his voice he added, “Time to head back to the boats, everyone. I’m pretty sure we have time to get back before it gets ugly.”

“Rory and I will just be a few  minutes. We want to check on the old place and make sure there are no leaks,” said Ellen. “Would you start the engine for me and make sure the crowd is all on board with their PFD’s before you head out? It will save us a bit of time.

Martin nodded and turned to head back across the harbour. This time he and Chrissy were last as the rest of the group had already left.

“Nature found a way to top off the ceremony,” remarked Chrissy.

“At least that way nobody had to say anything after.”

“Different, isn’t it. Used to be we would head over to the hall afterwards and have a chat with everyone but now it seems everyone is in their own little world.”

“Indeed,” Martin replied, noticing that the majority of those ahead of him were looking at their screens and not at the eerily unfamiliar place that once was home to most of their parents, grandparents and even to some of them. “I don’t know what they’re doing. I could hardly get service out there on the wharf, let alone here now at the bottom of the harbour under the Tolt.”

“I suppose it will take time to get back to normal,” said Chrissy. “We’ve all been locked away for so long and we have to get used to being out and around again.”

“More than that, though.”

“More than what?”

“Huh?” Martin turned around, “Oh, I hadn’t heard you two coming. Strange. The quad is far from quiet.”

“Figured I’d better bring it over to the garage and do a little work on it. After all it’s been sitting in the shed here for over two years now. Wonder it even started.”

Ellen got off. “I’ll walk the rest of the way with Martin and Chrissy.”

As Rory sped away Ellen said, “I can’t get my mind off Pat. Over a hundred years and healthy as a horse. Until Covid.”

“We lost a few friends this past year,” replied Martin.

“I just can’t erase the memory. I had to put that tube in. No choice. Pat looked so frail in that hospital bed. I wish I hadn’t left her.”

Martin nodded, “But Pat did have a choice and she made it.”

“But still—” Ellen’s voice broke off.

“I know.” Martin stopped. Chrissy and Ellen did the same while the others continued.

By now they were at the bottom of the harbour, the Tolt squarely behind them, along with the two-storey house, still a brilliant orange and the little fishing stage, still in good repair.

Martin continued, “Funny, this is the exact spot Pat would have been when she left her house and headed down to get the punt to do some fishing. Uncle Martin used to tell me of how strong willed, yet so kind she was. She made such an impact on so many people. Robert too.” He looked down, “And today I just couldn’t find the words.”

Martin could feel Chrissy pressing against him. He heard, “None of us could. Not today.”

Ellen spoke up, “I thought by now I knew how to do this. Jimmy, Mom, Dad, Martin and Maria, Richard, Ellen, Anna. We all knew what to do. The community came together, and it all fell into place. We all knew our part. But this time—”

Martin opened his mouth, but nothing came. He cleared his throat but still nothing.

Another flash. “I suppose that’s our reminder to get on with it,” he said and continued his way to the waiting vessels.

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Stunned (or maybe Selfish)

I like to think all people are
well meaning; intelligent.
Experience shows us otherwise–
some are barely sentient.
The ones insisting its their right
to eschew the needles prick
by any objective measure are
stunned as a feckin’ brick.

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Connections

Sitting here
in this rocking chair
at my old family home.
Spending a spell
with the D2L–
connected with my phone.

Distracted, I gaze,
there, from bygone days,
my dad, teacher from a time before.
Ah, those thoughts so dear:
him also working from this chair…
That connection matters so, so much more.

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