Bio Note: I am a married father of two and an educator teaching disadvantaged youth and adults in rural Missouri. I have a Master's Degree in English Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri and currently edit the poetry magazine Sparks of Calliope. My second collection of poems, Memoirs of a Witness Tree, was published in August 2020 by Kelsay Books. My poems have been featured by Halftime Magazine, The Hypertexts, and Snakeskin, among other publications.
A long-abandoned logging road still winds Through wooded hills, off paved, familiar ways. There, careless motorists get lost for days While navigating hazards of all kinds. That I'm off-course is just a simple fact. I blindly listened to the G-P-S, And doing so resulted in this mess-- Lost and alone on this forsaken tract. My compact car was never meant for this. How soon until they locate my remains? My legacy will be my lack of brains And absence in the lives of those I'll miss. Then, just before the fear sets in for good, I find my way out of the loathsome wood.
Originally published in The Writers' Cafe Magazine
Our lives are like a looking glass Through which our children often see Their futures through the veil of time With more responsibility. From us they gain the will to live: Learn to endure through hardships met, Find that it's better to forgive And how you can't escape regret. Our happiness is theirs to share. Our struggles help define them too. Our choices are examples made Of what you should--and shouldn't--do. We fiercely hope they will succeed, That we have given them our best, And fondness taints their memories Of times before they flew the nest.
Originally published in Westward Quarterly
A suitcase lies among the many things Abandoned when the owner left for good. Exposed to elements, old mildew clings To fabric torn and peeling from the wood. The dusty handle still emits a shine In places that endured the frequent grasp Of hands too hurried by the railroad line To put on gloves or lock the metal clasp. What irony! A suitcase left behind Speaks more about the trip it never made, Found useless for the task it was designed When owner passed from substance into shade. The things that matter now won't matter then. The cycle only ends to start again.
Originally published in Vita Brevis
©2021 Randal A. Burd, Jr.
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