August 30, 2011

wedding video

younger versions of us

smiling

laughing

dancing

no tears

no guilt

no betrayals

just love




copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

August 29, 2011

legacy

we are the ghosts of your shame

our bloated stomachs and sad eyes

haunt you

we are your cast offs

thrown away

like garbage

torn from our mothers' breast

cut down for your sins

executed for your crimes

we demand to be noticed

we demand to be counted

you try to silence us

you pretend that we do not exist

go ahead and turn the channel

turn away from us

back to your illusion of safety

of cul-de-sacs and strip malls

but our voices continue to rise from the grave

we join in song

unified

we are still here

see us




copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

August 24, 2011

forest

water

trickles from ledge

to rocky ledge

slowly making its way

downwards

towards the glassy pool below

sunlight

tries desperately to break

through the canopy

its silver fingers

strain

to caress the forest floor

a small spotted deer

skittish

looks nervously from left

to right

then slowly

gracefully

dips its head down to drink



copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

August 16, 2011

Sister Mary Katherine's Hairy Mole

"Diligence!!!"

Her shrill voice scratches at my soul like fingernails on a chalkboard.

I look down at the test sheet on my desk.

The numbers dance around on the page, mocking me.

"Sister, I..."

THWACK!

My knuckles scream out in agony as the ruler finds its mark.

She wields her yardstick like a mighty samurai warrior, striking down all who fail to remain diligent in her pre-algebra class.

I have no idea what diligence means.

 "No speaking during testing!"

 She waddles closer to my desk and looms over me like an obese, violent penguin.

I am a fish about to be swallowed...

"We must be diligent now, mustn't we?"

She looks down at me and cocks her head to the side.

"Mustn't we?"

Is this a trap? 

Do I dare speak and risk more pain?

I slowly raise my eyes to look up at her.

I try to meet her gaze but...

The mole.

The giant, hairy mole on her chin grabs my attention.

I am trapped, incapable of looking away.

It is perched on her fat chin like a small, black rodent.

"MUSTN'T WE?!?"

I am hypnotized by the mole - unable to respond.

It's almost as if the mole is staring back at me.

"I AM WAITING FOR AN ANSWER!"

I stare unblinkingly at the mole and stammer, "y-yes..."

"YES WHAT?"

I hear her knuckles crack as she tightens her grip on the ruler.

The mole smiles at me.

"Yes s-sister m-m-mar..."

"SPIT IT OUT!"

"s-sister m-m-m..."

"SPIT. IT. OUT!"

The hairy mole on Sister Mary Katherine's chin looks down at me and winks.

"M-m-m-mole!"

As the word jumps from my mouth, time stops momentarily.

So does my heart.

Every student in the classroom swivel their heads in unison and stare at me in horror.

I realize, too late, what I've blurted out and then -

THWACK!


copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

August 10, 2011

The Treasure

The little girl lets go of her Daddy’s hand. 

She unzips her pink Hannah Montana backpack and carefully pulls out the treasure - a lopsided, glazed pot with a single word painted on the side.

Mommy

She feels her heart start to beat faster as she gazes lovingly at the pot.

For a moment, she closes her eyes, slowly breathes in the summer afternoon air and listens to the birds singing.

She imagines what her Mommy will think when she sees this wonderful treasure that she has created for her.

She pictures being swooped up, being covered with kisses and Mommy telling her how much she loves her.

A single tear rolls down her cheek as the little girl gently places the treasure along with a handful of dandelions on the grave.

I made this for you today in school.

I miss you Mommy.

She then grabs her Daddy’s hand and walks slowly back to the car.



copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

August 9, 2011

Do You Dream?

Do you dream?

When the night is dark

and the lonliness in your soul is so

heavy

that it suffocates you?


Do you dream?

Of hot summer nights;

you and I moving to the beat

of an ancient,

primordial drummer,

as the sweat on our bodies

glistens in the moonlight?


Do you dream?

Like I do,

of how it would feel

to slowly memorize one another -

the touch,

the smell,

the taste?


Do you dream?

Of the sounds we would make,

our breath quickening,

becoming more urgent -

the moans,

the sighs,

the muffled screams?


Tell me,

I need to know -

Do you dream?


copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh


August 1, 2011

Nobody

Nobody cried the day Alice Luden died.
Nobody cared that the lady who talked to herself and ate garbage, once danced for the New York City Ballet.
Nobody wept for the wife who lost her husband to a war, or for the mother who lost her only son to disease.
Nobody minded that a hospital closed, putting a confused old woman out in the street to fend for herself.
Nobody shed a tear for the person who often went hungry for days.
Nobody gave a damn about the dirty, old bag lady found frozen to death in an alley…
Nobody cried the day Alice Luden died.


copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh
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