A Shedding of the Skin

David James


for Herb Scott


A man’s body stops,

                 silent and still, and, if lucky,

                          he leaves behind memories

flashing in the minds of a few,

                                            words lodged on the tongues

                                   of those who knew him well.

His legacy,           like a highway billboard,

        rises briefly along the horizon

and is gone.


        Life is a bird nesting in the apple tree out back;

                          it’s a stopped up drain;

it’s a half moon easing behind

                                            the dark clouds.

Life flies around and offers a gift box

                 to some, a pail of needles to others.

        Offers to a few a cold drink of water;

to others,                                                 a plateful of mud.


The world of what if gets caught

                 in the throat on a daily basis,

        right next to the universe

                                            of if only.

There’s one guarantee down here:

                                                     regret.  And there’s

one regret:

to not have another chance.