We keep asking

While three or four each child
adores to paint with why:
to splatter parents crimson-wild
till fury stuns the deep well dry
where mysteries are locked and filed
heeding Poe’s raven’s senseless cry.

Their dim amusement grows then wanes
as eyes shift from glaring windowpanes
to shield when asked not “what” instead
that question they have forced to bed
so curdled by their childhood years
knowing only “why” will lead to tears.

So this poem offers no solutions
only wanders amidst pale confusions
it diverges even as you read
to serve one purpose: simply plead
that when that question does arise
you’ll ensure its swift reprise.
(2 May 2015)

Among the Lollies

He is air-bound for a second
all three years, or two or four,
our estimate less important
than his almost levitation,
a would-be superhero
if not for the grasping voice
of the fearsome, shouting hand
berating him and apportioning flight
in singular, curious rage.

Her strange shame recalls
marshmallows
they used to offer as
reward for waiting,
that time’s hands might gather
double happiness,
but they never tested the parents.

Her wait earlier,
all false face,
now rises to acrid peak
and he is

weightless

and we wait, too stunned
to play hero against
mediocre, sour villains
who roam life’s aisles
with bitter hearts
no sweet can remedy.

(April 4 2015)