for Jonas and Amy
From sweetest love you came.
Celestial spirit flown to land
softy on a budding branch
of our family tree.
But your arrival was not soft.
Feet-first, you refused
your parents' invitation
for a gentle at-home landing.
Sirens and your mother's
weeping attended your arrival
--- scalpel's final cut welcomed you
to the world this time around.
They had already named you 'Archer'.
As if they knew you'd have a quiver
filled with sharp arrowheads
to pierce all expectations.
Down Syndrome, abysmal wound
for the deepest kind of teaching.
So many hearts break open
in the radiance of your gaze.
* a person who has attained Enlightenment,
but postpones Nirvana in order to help
others attain Enlightenment.
-- Helen Kerner
I grew up with diesel in my mouth,
aroma of hobo coffee boiling on the stove,
poured into my father’s Stanley thermos—
I was addicted by age six, stealing
slurpy sips, testing the temp after pleating the surface
with forced breath, passing the chrome cup
across the doghouse, riding shotgun
in the Freightliner cab-over—my father’s eyes
always tending to the road, left
hand on the wheel, the right flicking
twin stick-shifts, as he ran
the 250 Cummins through the gears,
before taking a swallow of the steaming brew,
then passing it back and resting his palm on the knob
ticking to the rhythm of the toothed transmission—all one song
that lifted like a carnival ride, then decelerated
with mechanical whine entering town
after facade town, fiction after fiction.
—from Prime Number Magazine, Issue 3.3 -- Terry Lucas