Passerby

Static sound destroying the
dropping of eaves.
A tone, still heard,
welcoming and warm;
wishing my name to be spoken
through those lips, to be conjured
with the thoughts of love.

How can we meet in the
“real world” when I am so
filled with apprehension?
Speaking would be
such an easy thing, but
I tense at the thought.

Her smile, professional.
Her wish of a good day disingenuous
as I am just
another face passing through;
soon to be forgotten by
work more pressing.

The bell above the door rings
to signal my exit; an escape to
wait another moon’s passing
for these fanciful thoughts.
Awaiting the day either
I work up the courage, or
she is no longer there.

by Erik Shinker

Advertisements

Decisions

I can’t get up on my own
anymore, darling.
I can’t support myself,
or you.

I am tired, and scared, and I
see the end coming
closer each day.
I know I am experiencing many things
for the last time, but
I dwell too much on that
fact to enjoy them.

The kids make sacrifices for
us, and they’re willing to do
even more.
But in our stubborn refusal,
we are wearing them thin.

We made our own way, and
we have been strong,
but I am weak;
I cannot pretend to be
anything else anymore.

I am tired, my love.
You can’t keep laughing off
my frailty as little lapses in concentration.

We need help, and we need
to get it while we can still benefit.
I love you, and I don’t
want to disappoint you, but
I’m nearing the edge and we
need to have some
tough conversations.

We can’t continue in denial.
Death will come; that’s inevitable.
When I meet my creator, I want to do so
with dignity;
not as a dusty husk.

I am so proud of
you, of
us, of
our children and
grandchildren and
great-grandchildren.

We have come so far, and there is a
little further to go, but
some difficult decisions remain
before we separate
and reunite.

by Erik Shinker

Dismissal

What’s past has passed, though
the knowing brings no comfort.
An overlapped coupling; heaven forbid
you should be alone.

When was the seed planted that grew this
carnivorous creature? What was the cause
of this candy-coated killing?

Dismissed with explanations told transparent;
“You’re such a great guy, but…”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship…”
“I still need time to figure out…”

I can respect that; however, it becomes
disingenuous after so many repetitions.
The law of averages says
something is wrong
with me despite
their insistence otherwise.

Ginger hair, bearded, and pale;
it seems you have a type.
You weren’t the first;
apparently, so do I.

by Erik Shinker

Frustration

An unspoken barrier.
A pantomime in possibility
as I mentally rehearse
what it would be like to
take such a small step.

“Hello”
“Is this seat taken?”
“I’m such and such”
“It’s so nice to meet you.”

Introversion isn’t cute
when it becomes debilitating.
Am I afraid she’ll say no? Absolutely.
Am I afraid she’ll say yes? Even more so.

I understand the implication;
the effort and expense.
So, yet again,
apprehension gets the
best of me, and those
soft, quiet smiles are all
I have to look forward to.

by Erik Shinker

Growth

I am trying
to focus more on what
I do have in my life
than what
I think I’m
missing;

to identify the challenges I
can overcome
by myself, those that
require the help
of others, and
being able to
discern between the two;

to really
hear the beauty in the music
I love, see the splendor in art
that speaks to me, and
spend my time
more meaningfully
away from
screens and social media.

I am trying
to move past this
unrealistic ideal of a partner
I have created
in my mind;

to know that I am enough, and
that my path isn’t necessarily
one that converges with,
or even runs parallel to,
yours.

I am trying
to take pleasure in the
lessons I have learned and
be willing
to leave the
past where it is;

to be more accepting
of those who are not like me,
and those who
disagree with me on
a fundamental level;

to gain patience, to temper
my aggression, and
to respect those
around me.

I know that this is something that
will never be
complete until my
life ends.
But, still,

I am trying.

by Erik Shinker