Back to School

Dread hangs in the air
Of this free and violent land
Our eyes constantly gaze
To what’s in the stranger’s hand
Sometimes we don’t dwell on
What has happened and what soon will
But then our thoughts are refracted
When the light grows way too still 
Those we love
Those we don’t
Those we’ve met
Those we won’t
We are the audience
We are the participants
Both victims and perpetrators
Despite our reticence
They say freedom has a cost
This we all know is true
I suppose how you judge what it is
Depends on what the word free means to you
They head back to school
As fall approaches in the air
May the strangers inscrutable gaze
Be looking far from there
Gene G. McLaughlin 2019

Other Times

Sometimes I listen to the radio

As the day slowly drifts away

Sometimes I talk to the cats

As they stare at me with perplexed eyes

Sometimes I make love at noon

As the sun shines bright above

Other times

The moments

Just get away from me

Sometimes I drink coffee

As I sit on a shaded park bench

Sometimes I look at graffiti

As they wash it from the brick city walls

Sometimes I drive to the drug store

As the cars grind all about me

Other times

I just wonder

Where it all went

Life is not a narrative

Life is not a song

Life is the inanimate choosing motion

The formless fog grown quiet and long

Gene G. McLaughlin 2012