‘RX’

I do believe in therapy,

but of a certain kind

The type anointed on oneself,

and in yourself to find

A strength to make decisions,

the will to see them through

To best ignore what others say,

while benefiting you

These words are not capricious,

recovery zero-sum

With judgment not to praise or blame

—its cure the only one

 

(Philadelphia International Airport: December, 2016)

Soul Surfer

What is a poem,

be it long or then short

 

When in service to others,

to agree and consort

 

And be it objective,

to run with the pack

 

Its identity loosened,

its rope to go slack

 

What is a poem,

when written to please

 

Each word second-guessed,

each phrase to appease

 

The critic, the pundit,

the dilettante sure

 

Your blood for their letting

—your words but a score

 

(The New Room: March, 2021)