The Wide Wings of the Present Tense

As my day begins, this is how it ended, the psalm that is:
Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the mercies of the LORD.
I stir in the spoon of brown sugar as is my custom, 
then remove Fairchild from the shelf:
no "still small voice" or hovering dove, but only gray, murky hunches...
The train barrels by from the north going south,
cars full of coal to heat our homes come winter.
We'll have to pay for it.
The news cast lingers in my mind: an overturned SUV, 
full of fire and a four year old.
Two off duty firemen took turns rushing in, cutting safety belts turned death's chains, 
finally, finally, finally rescuing a boy's life from hell itself.
I just kept seeing the face of my son and I kept going back in.
There are days when God is proud of the race of men.
I'm sleeping alone this week because she's in Arkansas,
taking care of a man with pancreatic cancer - her father.
Each night I've opened all the windows in the house
and placed a box fan at my feet;
anything, anything to stir the silence of her absence.
I look out on a front yard with fresh sod, green, lush,
and remember to feed the fish, Dad.
The owners of the fish and their brother are at grandpa's;
I look in their rooms each night and long for their smell.
A friend and I may run three or four miles on the lunch hour,
pounding concrete, strengthening our hearts while weakening our knees.
One of these days, I'm sure we'll pay for it.
Before rising to go edit books, I give Fairchild the last word:
beneath, at last, the wide wings of the present tense.


  1. Almost feel like a voyeur in reading this. Beautiful, John. Praying for your fam and you right now.

  2. I love it when what you write makes me breathless.

    Thank you.