Posts Tagged ‘family

11
Sep
09

Carrying On

Carrying On

By Darren King
[copyright 2009]

During difficult times
we are sometimes told to move on –
to move on and get on with our lives.
But moving on is synonymous with denial.
Moving on is an attempt to escape
the full effect of events
that unfold in our lives.
I don’t know how to move on –
I only know how to carry on.
Please don’t push –
I will not be hurried, thank you.
I will not be rushed.
I will not move on
and ignore my grief.
I will not move on
and deny my grief.
I will not move on
and deny the lessons
to be learned from it all.
I am a soul.
I need time.
Time to absorb what has happened.
Time to think, time to reflect.
Time to pray, time to listen.
Time to realize I have been changed.
Then, and only then, I will carry on.
Centered.
Taking with me the memory
of what has happened,
never to forget where I was,
what I was doing,
listening to how my children’s
world had changed.
And when my oldest
asks me,
What happens now?
I say kindly,
We carry on.
We pray, we give, we remember –
we carry on.

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26
Apr
09

R

R

By Darren King
[copyright 2009]

We gathered for Christmas,
all of us there,
all of us –
sharing couches and floor
with the grandchildren playing board games,
except me
who remained in the kitchen
putting, as I must, an order to things.
Perhaps,
you are stronger than I.
You seemingly shake
off easily what I can not.
Me
I must stop. Contemplate.
As I do this very night counting –
ten water glasses, ten dinner plates,
the sounds from ten hearts beating
in our home.

23
Apr
09

Room 2423

ICU #2423

By Darren King
[copyright 2009]

Here in this room
are pictures of you
and the people who love you –
you with your wife
embraced in perfect sunsets
you with your children
among the countless parks and zoos
birthdays and barbecues
shared with grandchildren who
revere you more than
Packers or Patriots.
Above these, a Cross –
Jesus in white robe,
His arms extended, His palms exposed.
Pray Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
To that misguided homily,
blessed is the womb that bore you
Jesus corrects –
blessed are they who call me family.

23
Oct
08

15th Anniversary (or, why we still hold hands)

15th Anniversary (or, why we still hold hands)
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

Because we know how dangerous
this world can be,
how fragile.
Because we know the power
of words –
how they can hurt,
destroy,
undo,
how they can heal,
mend,
all that we have done
to garrison this union.

Lord knows
I can piss you off
like nobody’s business.
But here we are,
fifteen years later,
after dating
nine and a half weeks
and a nine-month engagement,
just north of forty,
with two children,
one who looks like you,
one who looks like me,
living, as you say, the kit
the corporate job,
the house,
the minivan,
the Saturday soccer games.

But after the children have grown
I want to raise a barn with you
and fill it with your paintings.
And in the other half
my instruments
and you will paint
and I will write music
because time really
doesn’t change who we are,
like that Saturday morning
when the boys were little
and we were rollerblading
in the basement
with your U2 blaring
out of my circa 1987 stereo.
Or like the first night
we met,
a blind date,
when we talked about religion
and politics and relationships,
about being real,
and knowing when something
significant is happening
while it is happening.

08
Oct
08

A Testament to Freedom

A Testament to Freedom by Darren King [copyright 2008]

For Pfc. Joseph Sturgis, Jamestown NY

I sat next to him on a flight
from Atlanta to Detroit
and closed my book somewhere
over the Tennessee Valley –
he wasn’t ever going to stop talking.
He was going home
on a seventeen-day leave of absence
after basic training,
then onto a twelve-month
stint in Korea.
He was going home to tell his father
how sorry he was,
for the trouble he had caused,
the worry.
He was going home to tell his father
he had become a man
and was someone to be proud of.

08
Oct
08

Coming Home

Coming Home
By Darren King [copyright 2008]

Traveling for business is odd. At least when you do it as frequently as I do. It’s necessary. But it’s odd. The drama that comes with airports and shuttles. Rental cars and hotels. Sometimes I feel like Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. Take a flight, add in a lay-over, a whacky flight attendant and an irate passenger, throw in some bad weather and you’ve got the makings of a screenplay.

But traveling for me is necessary. There just are some things you can’t do over the Internet. You can not replace the value of time spent with someone face-to-face. Yet, while I am traveling, building relationships elsewhere, the relationships back home are on-hold in the same physical sense. I can communicate with my wife and children by cellphone and emails. But it’s not the same as actually being home. I don’t kid myself about these things. When I’m away – I’m away. And after a few days days, being in a hotel room without your family? It gets old. Fast. And because I travel so frequently, when I do I enter into a whole other life. A very different life. Alone and with a whole different set of habits and routines that kick in as soon as I hit the airport.

I always fool myself into thinking I’m going to catch up on sleep. This is usually a sign that I’ve started the trip already sleep-deprived. However, as soon as I get to my hotel room it’s a different story. I unpack my clothes. I set out my toiletries and find a plug to charge my cellphone. I pull back the bedding, unpack my laptop and sit cross-legged on the bed while flipping channels on the television. I read. I write. I catch up on emails. The news. I prepare for the next day’s set of meetings. I call business contacts who have left messages at two phones. I call my family to say good night. I stay up too late. I have the whole routine down. Like other habits, it’s all very easy. After a few days of this, I’m ready for home.

This week I was back in the great state of North Carolina. One of my frequent trips to Durham. Making the time away a little more bearable, I stay across from Papas Grille right in Durham. The friendly couple who own and run the restaurant also own and run the coffee house next door. She makes my morning coffee. He makes my dinner.

“Hello Darren!”, she says, when she sees me on the first morning of my first full day.

“Can you turn my light on dear?”, she says.

Six-foot, three, she is asking me to reach up and pull the little chain for the light at the front of the cafe’, like I’m the Abominable Snowman in Rudolph, putting the star on the Christmas tree. “And he doesn’t even need a step ladder!” She stands behind the espresso machine watching me; a large, skim, hazelnut, latte’ already in the works.

“How long are you staying this time?”

“Four days,” I say, “through Thursday evening.”

“Oh good. Then I will see you for dinner?”

“Yes,”.

“Good,” she says. “We will make you something very special.”

So this is how my week away from home went. And will go. I rise early. I stay up late. I work. I hear a lot of funny conversations. I miss my family. But I see her each morning when she has already started my coffee and asks me to pull the little chain for her light. And I will see them at night when he makes my dinner. And when things slow down, we’ll watch CNN on the flatscreen in the corner of the bar. We’ll talk about politics, the stock markets. We’ll talk about her grown sons and my young boys and compare the weather here in Durham to home, in Greece and Michigan.

04
Oct
08

REESE’S FAMILY

By Darren King [copyright 2008]

REESE’S FAMILY

It’s what you wrote
there in our driveway
the weekend after
you turned five –
uppercase letters
in pink sidewalk chalk
perfectly centered across
a score in the pavement.
You drew a large
pink heart
above your words
then stood back
and smiled –
the way one smiles in pride
for his lineage, his name –
this is my home,
these are the people I love,
these people belong to me.




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