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M.L. Liebler

For Carl Aniel for All Those Years Ago

There you were
Outside my weakest moment—
Alone in my silent stillness where I stood
Lost and broken by my grandmother’s death.
My tempered soul drifting upwards
Like those helium balloons
On the Boulevard St. Germaine
In the French surrealist story
Of our youthful days
Of art and life.

And there you were,
A whisper easing itself
Along the edge of my confidence
In the old German cemetery
Where generations of my family lie
In the quiet earth cooled
By the summer shade trees.
Of this last season.

There you were again,
And my anger swelled
In the stillness of that afternoon sun,
Where I could not muster even
One ounce of forgiveness for you.
Knowing darn well it was not right
To harbor such resentment and madness
Any longer when my heart was broken
On the inside by love and death
And all we once were.

You, stupid, artist, dope of my youth—
Long haired, Indian head banded hippie
With that same crooked smile
And that one quiet tear
Running down your white cheek.

Big, angel headed, hipster
Who once pulled my dreams out
Of their sockets like cheap comedy hung
Out to dry in the linen breeze
Of all our yesterdays.

My grandmother gone now,
And I had given up all I once had
Hoping this day would never come,

And there you were floating
Up the big green cemetery hill
To hold me in my grief
With all the forgiveness of our past.
Filled with all our stupid hope,
Our lost tomorrows now gone
To seed where our dreams
Slumber now with the dead
Way down , deep below.




out from under the blanket of my life
I can see your face across the moon
Alone and pale—my hero
Of quietness and contemplation
Once alive in the night
With humor and grace.

Twin spirit of my youth.
The humor of a million laughs.
The strength of one hundred mothers.
My true friend in this family
Of hardship and pain.

I am looking for you now
In a past cluttered with broken promises,
Cob webs of false witnesses
And the disrepairs of things that once seemed
Hopeful and tightly hemmed into our souls
In the darkness of the summer night.

Our spirits now hidden from the light
Of our past and behind your mother’s floral house dress.

Now, we are separated and forever forlorn
With only the memories of small things
And the closeness we once shared
In the darkness of our dreams.
I see you now waving through the tears
Whispering that “we shall never be young again.”
I weep now for all we once were
In our world of happiness and surprise joy.
And for all that we will someday soon forget.


When I pass
From this earth to another
Realm unknown,
I want to be once
Again greeted
By my old dog
Whom I loved more
Than many aspects
Of my own life.

Once again I want
To feel the warm fur
Kiss the tender ears
Of that old tired pooch
And run together playful
And alive down
The long corridors
Of my memories.