The Wandering Time

This time of loss,
This wandering in the desert,
This desolation.

My father never told me,
Never warned me,
Never prepared me.

Perhaps he thought this time of loss
Was a private, personal weakness.

I saw him,
Bent by the weight of it,
Barely knowing
Yet suffering,
Keeping busy,
Not realizing,
Not acknowledging this other rite of passage,
Coming so late in life,
This time of loss,
This wandering in the desert,
This desolation.

My father’s ghost is with me now
In this, my wandering time.
I cannot tell if he knows the way.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


I was immortal,
Aflame with youth,
Mad with wishing and wanting,
With joy and despair,
Running everywhere,
Lighter than air.

I shared secrets with my dog,
Whispered words of love to my cat,
Sang to sparrows and cackled at crows.

I picked my nose,
Hid my broccoli beneath the mashed potatoes,
Turned my bicycle into a horse and shot desperados.

I believed in dreams,
That they would lead my aching heart
To some kind of earthly heaven,
A life filled with joy
And love.

I still sometimes belch,
Sometimes fart,
This inextinguishable little boy.

My wife is not amused.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved


When it all falls apart
And you have nowhere left to go,
Where do you go?

You go home,
To that little house on the corner,
In that little town,
That little room with that little bed,
Still there,
As if your parents knew
You would not make it on your own,
Out there.

They kept your room ready
For your homecoming,
Coming home to where it’s all too small
For this forsaken soul you are,
A child once more.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Here With Me

I remember my grandfather’s decline,
His slow but steady decline,
This honorable, moral man,
A role model,

During my younger years he often called me,
As if trying to rebalance our relationship,
Having favored my older sister,
My more compliant,
Less troubled sister.

When my grandmother died,
On our way to the cemetery
He told me they both agreed she should go first,
A pact without the power of choice,
Silently resolved to meet again somehow.

Episodes of confusion crept into his daily life.
His daughter hired a caregiver
To do the things that became too hard,
This once rigorous man losing his rigor,
His self-reliance.

An assortment of medications
Causing angry outbursts of unmoored emotions,
Personality changes.
Demons gaining ground
On the weary angels of his being.

And here I sit with my morning coffee
Wearing my grandfather’s robe,
Wondering how many days I have left.
I hear the tik-toking of his Regulator clock
Counting down.

Grandfather is here with me this morning,
Telling me about his boyhood on the farm,
The lamb he brought into his bedroom
To shield it from the storm.

Soon, he finally answers. Soon.

~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved