All the Usual Distractions

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Forgive me, son, when I am lost in lines That change and change back from week to week

While my pencil strikes and circles, scratching signs To remind myself, not sure just what I seek

To make or leave behind, when you, impatient With my distractions want me here with you,

In life off the page. This is what it’s meant For me to set right what is thrown askew.

Some wave, swelled huge in time, rose up to me For years and crested as I hoped to slip

Beneath, and then I found myself in mystery, Half-drowned in swallowed salt and sting of sand, grip

Of breathless panic. A rusted compass With no north or south, I found myself laid out

On this stony shore of tangled sea grass With you, where I can breathe and look about

And see the day. I’ll put my poems down For you, who made them new for me. I’ll hold

You hard and stay strong not to cry or drown In this place of wind and sun, smeared ash and gold.