paul Bluestein

Sometimes Crazy Is All There Is 

From the corner of my eye,
I watched a spider leave its web,
spun between my desk lamp and the wall.
As it finger-walked across the wide
polished plain of my desk
I picked up a notebook, intending  
to squash the eight-legged invader.
Then, as the book-bomb was ready to fall,
I hesitated.
I declared a day of amnesty,
a 24-hour no-die zone.
I put away the mouse traps
and allowed an ant to walk away
with a grain of sugar
that had missed my coffee cup.
I know it sounds crazy
to think this will change anything,
but sometimes crazy is all there is.


Hilltop Cemetery  

Come midday, we set off for Hilltop,
the Shannon family cemetery
in Middle of Nowhere, South Texas,
near Tilden.  

T, whose given name was Louis,  
but everyone called by his middle initial,
sat in the front seat between his children. 
Cousin Pat followed in the Chevy S-10.
The bed of the pick-up,
most often loaded with feed or fencing
or blowtorches for burning pear,
today carried only shovels.  

Walking to the place where
earlier in the day, a hole had been dug,
we could read names and dates
on graves of generations past.
Children who died from diphtheria,
women who died in childbirth
or from the Spanish flu.
Men who died in war.  

T’s son placed his father’s ashes in the ground
and we stood holding hands in the caliche dust and heat,
spoke remembrances and recited prayers.
Afterward, we took up the shovels,
mended the wounded earth and said goodbye,
having sent T home.
No preacher, no choir.
Just relatives, some friends
and the live oaks to watch over him.  

© paul Bluestein

paul Bluestein is an obstetrician and blues guitar player who began writing poetry in 2018. Since then, his work has appeared in Heron Tree, The Linden Avenue Literary Review, The Broken Plate, Steam Ticket and Penumbra among other publications. His first full-length collection, Time Passages, was published in 2020 by Silver Bow Publishing. 

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