Don’t Look Now

65 degrees is not really cold

But the whole family had the flu

And I was warding off the illness

By wearing a jacket with long pants

Just needed a sandwich from Subway

Not too complicated

Even knew what my wife wanted

Grilled chicken with chipotle sauce

Three smokers outside the bar next door

Told me it couldn’t be too cold

Went into Subway

Quickly noted there was virtually no one in the store

Well there was one person

As I looked towards the counter

There was one perfectly dressed young lady

Who seemed to be staring at me

Tried to act like I was looking away

Couldn’t help but notice everything luscious about her

Soft brown hair cascading down her shoulders

Short mid thigh skirt, shiny black boots, a hint of lip stick

AND no wedding ring

Yet she continued to watch me

As I made my way to the counter

It was inevitable

Our eyes met and locked

Locked until she started surveying me

Actually I was almost embarrassed

Wanted to look away

But the momentary passion kept my eyes glued on hers

As she studied me

Finally her eyes broke away

From top to bottom

She studied me

In a panic

I wondered if my fly were open

As her eyes lowered and then stopped

I too looked down

And saw what captivated her

Pajama bottoms

Our eyes were not locked anymore

Took my deflated lust

Left the store with quickly

Praying to forget

FXC

9/7/11

Kohl’s

Huh?

What am I doing?

Here with you

Like a first date, maybe a second

It was time to buy a new quilt for the bed

Who knew that?

I kept the old one clean when you told me to

And then the pretense that was used to sneak

Into the store

We were out for a drive

A simple moment to get away

We had gone far enough to feel free

Never dreamed I would be here now in

Kohl’s

You are so sweet and elusive

And then you ask me a question

The question

That really has no answer

No up and down head motion will answer

“What do you think of this color?”

What do I think of that color?

They are all the same to me

Just give me blue or green

What? You need a green or brown to match the colors of the walls

When I paint them?

When I paint them?

What? I though we were looking for a quilt

I know, I know

I am fighting you

Pulling against you

When this is what you want to do

So hard for me to be part of this

I love you so much

But now colors?

You want me to understand and like, colors?

I am not there

Can we go back to blue and green?

I look at you

Study your face

Your eyes

This is such a moment for you

You are with your lifelong love

In a store

Looking at colors

I want you so much

But colors?

I only like colors because of you

I only see colors because of you

They are like math to me

I can only understand colors

When you wear them

But I know

This moment

Is a moment of love making

I will love colors

As I love you

And I will look in your eyes

When I tell you that this shade of

Brown and green will match

The walls I paint

In our house which is not too far from Kohl’s

FXC

9/14/11

My Last Wish

Gently, softly I need to let you go

I didn’t know how to tell you so

We’ve been so intertwined

Our thoughts, to begin, so eye to eye

Struggles, so meshed, no difference

Between beginning and end

Like the morning sun, lighting what was Dad

It’s so clear now

Rebirth must occur

Who are you really?

So clearly, I remember your long brown hair

Rosy cheeks, uniform skirt to mid-thigh

Your smile demure but assured

My turbulent youth

Your quick mind and wry humor

Easing the vicissitudes of life

I stole your youth

Sent you on a long journey of responsibility

Our time together busy with work

Children and community

Now, today, I have to ask

Does our journey together continue?

I need to know

We have grown together and apart

As we have learned to heal others and ourselves

Do we still share a vision of us?

Dow we still dream of our future?

You fly from my heart to be you

So clearly you, so unique

This is my gift to you

I would not have you be my wish

But rather your dream

So many have said, give to receive

So as before, I love you

I still expect nothing but have been granted all

As you fly towards the sun

Let your shadow cast

Your love towards me

FXC. 7/2/02

Four Days

116 hours

That is al it’s been

Since I touched you

Did you know?

All this time

That it has been I

Who has needed

To touch

No wonder I wonder

Where we are

Circling in a sea of work

Healing others but

Not ourselves

Conversation that babbles

About jobs and weather

All this time

No wonder I wonder

116 hours

How long before

You notice

I’m not there

Touching

I really hope you

Notice

Need you to

Notice

FXC 2/1/06

Waiting

Ten years tonight

Your cool body

Lay before me

Then placed in my arms

No words

Were spoken

Of a yesterday or tomorrow

No words

Only tears

Spoke

Of the anguish

Not knowing

Will love live or die

Your features so clear

Your memory so dear

Would you be a moment forgotten

A memory never forgotten

For some unknown blessed reason

You stayed with us

It is unfathomable to me

Why my child lived and others haven’t

FXC. 11/9/02

Closets

Don’t know when

Closets became an issue to me

Specifically our closet

Didn’t seem to complicated

To merge yours with mine

In one closet

Neither seemed to be clothes hogs

So I don’t know when

There seemed to be less space

For my clothes

There I’ve said it

So ignorant

Maybe when we got a place

With two closets

One beckoned to be filled

I don’t think so

Just another area bereft of thought

For me

How could I not notice

That gradually I was seeking

Niches here

Niches there

Man caves weren’t in vogue yet

‘Place of my own’ maybe?

Your clothes always seemed

To take precedent

They were more tasteful

Mine were to cover flaws

And you know once

Out of the closet

I was never going to get back in

So this is it

Not till years later

Overhearing a conversation

Between women of course

I heard the term, ‘his closet’

What? What?

There should be a book for men

A primer as it were

There is no GPS for marriage

But men need direction

And you know that

I’m just saying

FXC 3/2019

Last Chance

Today I do not stand before you

However I would not leave you bereft

Of my last known observations

Let it be clear that my joy

Is due to you all

Living a life of faith

My steps, my families’ steps

Have all been assisted

With your outstretched arms

In prayer, in gifts, in time

My journey has been with you all

A blessed journey it has been

From my family,

From my Passionist family

And with you all

I do stand now

Awaiting my next call to duty

You have prepared me well

I will be eternally grateful

Pax Te Cum

Francis Xavier Cameron 3/18/19

Gabriel Paul Becker

Five years now

Just memories

Powerful memories

Of you

My two sons bear your name

Ironic that you helped watch one

And helped another one heal

Myself, you were huge

Yes, yes a half a foot taller than I

But your graciousness

Humor, wit and musicality

Engaged allNh

But mostly I remember

A man not critical of others

Who allowed me to grow

In my responsibilities

As a father and

Husband to his daughter

Many, many memories

Ultimate home repair man,

Sweet, sweet father

Incredible repertoire of songs

Singing at any moment

Listening conversationalist

A man adoring his wife

Who you left for us

Thank you

Though the whole world may not

Have known you

Those of us who did

Have had blessed lives

Thank you, thank you

Eternally yours

FXC 3/16/19

My Mirror

Just walking down the hall

Saw you preening

In front of the mirror

Smiling

Giggling

Looking up

Then down

Seemingly amazed

By your face

As if for the first time

You were shocked

By how good looking you are

Good reason for that

Youth, youth, youth

Oh yeah and 9 years old

And you are simply beautiful

Grandchildren often are

However a mirror has two sides

I had forgotten the purpose of a mirror

Never knew I had one

A mirror

Just popped up in the morning

Ran my hand over my head

Patting down wayward hair

Mmm I looked good

So many years

I loved me

Young

Free

Healthy

I was my own dream

Problems

Were brushed away

With youthful energy

Only imperceptibly

Did an occasional

Indicator of age

Creep into the back of my mind

To be ignored with the blink of an eye

Only time, relentless time

Would open my eyes

To the gradual erosion

Of my youth

Spent middle age

Pleasantly pleased

With holding my own

Enjoying a moment

Of contrived acceptance

But now as my clock

Winds down

The wind doesn’t

Really catch my sails

I don’t scramble

To correct

What Mother Nature

Has eroded

But oh can I steal a moment

Back, just one

A glance maybe at yesteryear

Maybe Brylcream will show my shine

Or a different haircut

Of my receding hairline

Long gone are hopes

Of a tight midsection

I look around and now only see

The very young or

All my compatriots

But so strange

The mirror is only one side of the coin

The flip side is

The sweetness, the satisfaction

Watching your grandmother’s face

Of fifty years, no mirror

Just her face

Reflecting mine

I love her mirror!

FXC. 3/16/19