Good Old Robin Hood
Robin Hood, oh Robin Hood, robbing the rich, to keep out of the hood.
And is he good? Oh is he good? Is this the right question to ask.
He may be the only vigilante who doesn’t wear a mask.
Who prefers a laugh, not so good with a staff, and then again,
a hero who actually accepts help from his friends.
Unheard of. This word love. Before there was a Marian around.
Light turquoise, pastel aqua, gold trimmed, shimmering gown.
Her Robin may be a wanted man, but that smile she wears is criminal.
Her power over him subliminal, in almost every single way, but minimal.
But would he be the Robin Hood he seems, if he let her steal his show. I think no.
Feathered arrow through the heart of a bent bow. Bouncing apples in the pale palms
of kids in costumes. Filling up the room, full with so many not so tiny voices.
These people lined up in chairs, seated, are afraid of all our choices.
They fear our volume. They fear the light. They fear to be on stage at night.
Actors do not have these fears.
The merry inhabitants of Sherwood do not share their tears.
We are fighters, and delighters, and inciters and even fools.
We are not led by Robin. Because we are not led by rules.
And if he ever forgot. If he took a step down the path of prideful Prince John.
If ever there was an if, when Robin fancied himself sheriff.
Then we would rob him good. Robin Hood.
Who has never been as real, as his call to steal,
what was already rightfully owned by us anyway.
So if nothing else. Not another word, if, from me, you’ll hear no more,
then let me go ahead and tell you the great lesson hidden
in the blessing I stole from this old faded English fable.
Be glad. Be merry.
Smile until your face is sore.
And no one, not Kings or Princes,
not even the meanest Lady Merle in the world,
can rightfully call you poor.
The Sort of Gift a Grandpa Gives
This is the duct tape they use to repair airplanes.
Heavy. Solid. Abrasively sticky.
Collecting clung hair and dirt.
Shining and black on the surface. Gray and dull within.
Half a mile or so wrapped up around a cardboard ring.
Strong enough to hold together a plane.
A gift given by a man who is a grandfather, through and through.
Like he was born for the job from the very start.
A child destined to be looked up at by children.
Reaching for over-sized glasses and filling nostrils with slobber-fingers.
Touching his eternal smile framed by round red mounded cheeks.
A man who makes his children’s children happier to live.
And tape strong enough to fix wings. The sort of gift a grandpa gives.
Among others. Sneaky smiling while he hands them over.
Wet eyes locked, knowing, he is that timeless sort of clever.
Twenty odd referees blowing whistles first thing call the sun out.
Crying foul. Singing yellow thumbs. Pigeon coup. Upheaval.
Change. Cold night filtered air meets heat head on and wiggles
hips up from asphalt.
Eyes half closed in order to see.
Horizons a voice can’t seem to pull on. Bird songs.
And southern dialects over decaf coffee
loud enough on a front porch to be heard down the street.
Like we are all of us part of this conversation. Birds too.
Raspy ones that bark like feathered kazoos.
Sharp clean could be a grandpa in a supermarket.
Hollow boned morsels tap Morse code.
Tweet like teenagers,
except impeccable grammar.
Then the quiet ones. Watchful birds.
If not for my imagination,
would not nest in these words.
Yet they are there. Bobbing in the treeline.
Staring down silver glimmers tracing the crests of gray lake waves.
Filling young yellow triangles with breakfast.
Not all birds wake up to song.
There are plenty of referees who uphold flat palms.
And only say, with silence, play on.
Scruffy looking if you can call it a tree line.
Little gnarly oaks that only grow
where the ground is burned
every other year, or so. Or sew
Spanish moss like tassels off
proud bowing tree limbs. Or sew on
button nosed pine cones pitted in pockets
of so much sand.
Like fleas if you let them get bad.
Like trees after too many fires,
and how they come back.
More and smaller and shorter and scruffy.
Looking hungry. Staring out hard in that devout
rooted if you can call it an eye line.
Terrified for seasons to change.
Fire means different things,
when you can not run.