LET ME

LET ME
Lord, let me be the kind of person
who holds Ruby Bridges’ hand
To offer my seat to Rosa Parks
To shelter Ann Frank
To step in front of a baton
meant to beat an old Jewish woman
in 1939
Let me walk with Dr. King
and hold up my arms
at the dying of a student
at Kent State
Let me do more than hope
Let me do more than wish
Let me do more
Let me
Let me be the change.

Kathy Keogh

 

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SLAMMED

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SLAMMED

SLAMMED
I was slammed by a gang of poets
Stressed
Alliterated
Obliterated
Anagrams flew
Nine thumps- punishments
As Virgil kept time
to the beat poetry
I was tortured by metaphors
Beaten like a dead horse
The sagas of palindromes
The deafening silence of oxymorons
Clearly misunderstood
I was slammed by a gang of poets
for no rhyme or reason
I was slammed
I was slammed
I was
Kathy Keogh

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CROOKED SMILE

He has a crooked smile

and a gap between

his two front teeth.

His golden brown hair is thick

and straight

and perfect.

When he gets out

of the ocean

he shakes his head

back and forth

and every strand

falls back in place.

He has a splash of amber freckles

across his nose

that somehow

make him approachable,

He is tall and tanned

and when he emerges from the surf

the ocean’s foam

lingers as long as it can

kissing his shoulders.

There is a glint

in his green eyes

a sparkle

a twinkle

that more than hint

at his Irish roots.

He is clever

and funny

and his laugh

fills me up.

His crooked smile

holds me hostage.

He has a crooked smile

and a gap between

his two front teeth.

Kathy Keogh

 

 

 

 

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COLLUSION

Collusion

Confusion

Illusion

Conclusion

Collusion

Profusion

Kathy Keogh

 

 

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HAG

Your love

was a phantom hag

suffocating me

with its weight

I couldn’t move

or scream

I was paralyzed

Your love

was a shadowy figure

lurking in the corners

watching

moaning

rattling my chains

I exorcised you

Now you haunt another

while I breathe.

Kathy Keogh

 

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FREIGHT TRAIN

My life is a freight train moving through the darkness
too fast to catch
but just slow enough that I keep running along the tracks
as fast as I can
arms outstretched
to the rhythm of my life clicking by.
Kathy Keogh

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THE PIANO AT UNION STATION

 

THE PIANO AT UNION STATION
In L.A.’s Union Station
amidst the haunted
leather
Art Deco chairs
stands a piano
When I wait for
trains
I wait there
Unknown Geniuses
and Anonymous Songwriters
Hipsters
with their hipster hats
Tin Pan Alley has beens
Down and Outers
Up and Comers
None
can resist
its Blessing
Waiting for trains
in Union Station
is Religious.
The Piano
hears
our confessions
and forgives us.
Kathy Keogh

 

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HOW TO FIX A BROKEN HEART.
I know you’ll deny it
but I watched you
knock it off its pedestal
Now my heart
lay in pieces on the ground
I’m not shocked
to find yours
intact
a scuff mark maybe
Mine broke its fall
You get a broom and dust pan
and begin sweeping up the rubble
“WAIT!”
comes from the part of my chest
that holds deep guttural sounds
I think the Irish call it keening.
“I can put it back together”
You pretend to tie your shoe

and pick up a small piece of my heart
and slip it in your pocket
I google “How to fix a broken heart”
A Bee Gees song comes up
and a lot of nonsense about “time”
gathering up my shattered heart
I lay them on the table
Like pieces of a puzzle
I put them where they belong
As I fit the top right piece to the right side
a tear falls

and like glue fuses it
After many tears and “time”
my heart is almost whole
Perhaps someday
you’ll come back
and give me the piece
you took
Kathy Keogh.

 

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CEMETERY LIFE

CEMETERY LIFE
I live my life in cemeteries
names and dates- cold grave stone
A wilted rose, a ribbon fades
Here I kneel on my own

I live my life in cemeteries
candles burn and shadows thrown
Pinwheels spinning in the wind
Six feet above a box of bone

I live my life in cemeteries
For yesterday I must atone
All my days lived in the past
a forlorn cry, a mournful moan

I live my life in cemeteries
thinking of the time that’s flown
But there are no spirits around
The ghosts have left me here alone.
Kathy Keogh

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