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SCHOOL BOYS

They look more grown up than I think they should be. Maybe I’m afraid they won’t need me before I’m ready. It’s comforting they can tie their own neckties, are willing to walk under the hubris of the same green shirts and red hats, pants that don’t allow the individuality boys by their nature of wanting to be men covet. Look at their strong hands, masculine shoulders, the confident way they swagger and gawk. They’re friends, thank God, and beautiful, with so much to learn it makes me jealous.

From CUBA, AN ADVENTURE IN IMAGE AND WORD Opening Reception at Abend Gallery, Colfax and York, Denver, CO Friday, May 16th, 2014. Paintings by Peggy McGivern and Readings by Peter Stravlo, based on our 2013 travels in Cuba

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An Atheist’s Prayer to His Faithful Friends

Facing wonder
Envy
Humility
My small back bowed
To divine
A scrap of insight

I watch my faithful friends
Bent and twisted under the burden
Taking comfort in our communion

They murmur
Feel the weight grow
Between us

Knowing
I do not know
How they rise
So easily

It is heavy
This failure
To straighten our backs
Together

Every time we shut our eyes
We shrink to our knees
Every time the morning beckons
We beg to know
Like an honest prayer
That goes unanswered