Holidays In Memoriam Uncategorized

Fading away

Small, sporadically mowedcemetery1
rural-church cemetery
familial in feel
generations grouped eternally
spontaneous, asymmetrical
layout seems unforced, movingly
casual in its nostalgia

a rainy, gray day along
narrow township gravel road
cars parked, haphazardly

We buried an old soldier.

local VFW could only muster
honor guard of three men
bent, trembling, purposeful fingers
wrinkled khaki, faces, hands
added dignified poignancy with
simple, nine-gun salute

small-town high school girl in bluecemetery3
letter jacket, fluffy, white ‘C’
over her heart, excused from class
hitting most of the notes
gets extra credit playing Taps

Told my story of the soldier
to a friend whose war-seasoned
big-city, grandfather – decorated sailor –
passed not so long ago

two young men in
snappy dress blues came to
the grandfather’s internment
with a boom-box, and a CD

pushing a button, the
yeomen played Taps flawlessly,
left a folded flag with grandma
saluted crisply, left for good.

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017

Introspection Life Uncategorized

Put on your shoes

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”


Our journey has finally begun
there have been
fits, starts, delays
in getting here; now
finally underway, I am ill at ease

The irony, not lost on me

An inveterate wanderer, –
‘Mr. Spontaneity’ to friends, family
I do not like not having an even
rudimentary itinerary
I find myself in the driver’s seat,
riding unwilling shotgun

Where this road takes us, unclear.
I know where we are going  –
in abstract theory
our route is well-traveled,
mapped out and useless
“This way” our only directional cue

Traveling companions
our conversations more and
more disjointed, repetitive
yet replete with always new insights
wisdom, perspective shared,
dispersed like random gumballs

I wanted the yellow, got the red
still a gumball.
something innocuous to chew on

People sometimes remember
in order to forget;
not by choice, yours a different tack
forgetting to not remember
remembering the obscurity of what was
oblivious at time to what is

except when you aren’t.

Your navigational skills
no longer reliable
I steer conversation to a time of
your place and choosing
where with alarming alacrity
you can recall, recite
the mundane and profound
as I work to remember
to try and not forget, while keeping
my eyes on the road ahead,

utilizing little more than stray
magazine articles and brochures,
well-meaning advice,and gut instinct
all the while striving to keep us moving
forward, using the rear-view mirror

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017

Family Holidays

It’s all in the card

Greeting card aisle
all celebratory sins
at your disposal

birthday, anniversary
Love you!
I’m sorry!
pronouncing gratitude
for things and flings
get well tomes

Good luck!
over-priced nods
to milestones
earned, attained,
sweated out

colorful, sentimental,
creased tagboard
touchstone marked by mirth!
merriment! maudlin mooning!

four-ninety-nine a shot
plus postage

Same price of a latte
someone else
gets the kick

mid-April; the usual
array of acknowledgment
gets crowded out,
relegated to status
Miss America-runner-up

Making way for
kitschy, kindly
sunny and sentimental
maternal mementos


row upon row
testaments to
matriarchal tolerance
sage wisdom dispensed,
ignored, disposed, pondered
much valued only

nature of boundless nurture
boo-boos bandaged
busted hearts mended
steamrolled dreams
dusted off, put back in place

wrongs of others she righted
lessons she pointed out
that you heard but haven’t
learned as yet

Commemorating years of
“Aha”! moments
via dramatic script
comedic font
soft-focus flowers
pseudo-witty cartoons

Yearly cardboard holy grail

vainly laboring to convey
the significance  of
who, what, why
you are – where you are –
because of
who, what, how, why
she was, is
always will be


– Mark L. Lucker
© 2017