We hold our breath
just before
Memorial Day weekend

winds up, hear
the gears whine,
feel the speed

at ninety-plus,
barbed wire either side—
listening for the abrupt,

the certain screech
as you fade up the canyon.
We pray for your mother.



This post begins the new category of ‘DECK POEMS’: John & Robbin’s evening collaborations.


  1. Hate holding my breath on holidays while praying for the well being of loved ones.
    I never thought before of why so many ranch houses seem to be so far off the road. Protection surely must be one reason. Wouldn’t want a car to come flipping through your front door. It must be irritating to have the serenity broken by the sounds of the “race drivers”.
    Let’s not forget a prayer for our Vets and loved ones that have passed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In our case, distance from the road (800′) insures a little more privacy and less traffic noise that makes our time outside a little more enjoyable. Fences are always subject to errant drivers, job security.


  2. Peter Notehelfer

    The blessing of being a grandfather: your own children are smart enough not to be foolish; your grandchildren too young yet to know tom`foolery . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always a tricky balancing act between freedom and responsibility. As a teenager, I lobbied for more freedom (naturally) to demonstrate my responsibility. My father, on the other hand, wanted to see my responsibility first. Looking back, I had substantially more freedom than most kids do today–we were hands-on kids and not as likely to be the subject of social predators and all the other diversions out there today. Grandkids: you just got to hope you instilled enough common sense in your own children that they’ll pass some along.

      Liked by 1 person

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