The dream

She can’t explain it &

I’m without words

10 days ago she had a dream

to go to a certain bookstore

and something special

would happen

She went every day

for 10 days

and on the 10 day

I was looking at poetry

books searching for

the newest books

by favorite poets

She was there

standing two feet away

and asked me if I had a

favorite poet

I named three I really liked

I saw a

twinkle in her eyes

and said

may we walk to

the store’s coffee shop?

I’ll treat you to coffee and

a desert

This is how

we met

Her name is

Candance

she said

“call me Candy”

“This is not my world anymore” — I am worried about Billy

he says this a lot:

THIS IS NOT MY WORLD ANYMORE

i don’t think he has given up

he does not want to change

wants things the way they were

cell phones, kindle tablets

& Apple iPads & products

aren’t his things

he is not saying

he is wanting to exit this world

he remains inside his

apartment, shades drawn

car parked where no one

sees it

so no one

knows he is home

he doesn’t want friends

many have passed on

or stopped calling

died or moved

he says movies are not enjoyable

music–he likes a few singers

he grew up listening to

many singers are gone

drugs

or health problems

took some of them

he lives alone

has nothing to look forward to

knows four neighbors

(they don’t check on him

and he does not go to see them)

he rarely gets together with anyone

eats sardines, lunch meat

sometimes fruit

he wasn’t always this far down

in college and workplaces

those who knew him say

he was one of the best

if not the very best at everything!

all the classes from grade school

through the colleges he attended

never prepared him for changes

he is facing now

he says it’s not safe to go out

killings are happening often

now in grocery stores, churches

schools, sports bars and

drive-by random shootings

he wonders as he

sits on his couch

how the world got this way

he keeps saying

THIS IS NOT MY WORLD ANYMORE

(Jim Wortham, June 7, 2022)

I Can’t Say Bye Yet

What can I say

knowing tonight

is your last night

unless

a miracle appears

The doctors

unplugged

life support

You are talking

holding my hand

giving me hugs

What is on your mind

no, no

I should not

ask

You are fighting your war

the cancer

attempted to

take over

& tonight

the experts say

will be your

final bye

to life as you

have known it

I pray for

a

miracle

that only

we can

believe for

(Jim Wortham, March 4, 2022)

I will remember our long deep kisses

She tells me

“I know your age

but for me

your age is only a number”

This happens

occasionally

I am gracious

and thank them

for their sincere

compliments

I can’t really say this to them,

but you are in your 20s

and you

will change your mind

I may be able to keep up

with dancing

watching movies

and having fun

but what you don’t realize

I’m on a rapid ride that

you do not want to

take with me

My face still looks good to you

but in 10 or 15 years

you will refer to me

as your older brother

or father

Thanks for the dances

we’ve had &

thanks for the

long deep kisses

I’ll never forget

Buses don’t stop here anymore

I depended on &

knew the times

buses would

pass by

buses going to all kinds of places

to work

to gatherings

to visit lonely people

to friends’ homes

places to eat

I bought a car

never needed a bus again

until I became disabled

no longer able to drive

Now buses

don’t come by anymore

there are no places I go

and no people to visit

(Jim Wortham, January 30, 2022)

Do it another day

It seems

each day I will do it . . .

you know, I mean

those items on a list

those things that need to be done

but you just don’t have

to do the tasks

yet

so days go by

weeks go by

I’ll tell you these things

are not fun to do

or I would do them

I’m wondering when

the right day will come

and if I will know

it’s the right day

to complete all those things

on my lists

A Freezing January Nite

I wonder on zero degree nights like tonight

why I gave up my jobs

to live from my writing

This year has been the worse

Editors want submissions sent by

PDF files

and I’m stuck in the days

where I mail typed manuscripts

with a return stamped envelopes

in case of it being rejected

I’m making enough for dollar store food

and keeping a heater on

Winter won’t last forever

but I’m not returning to work

I’ll remain in this worn-out house

and grow plants to eat in the spring

I’m waiting for that big day

soon to come

(I hope)

of becoming discovered

by a big publisher

making me a household name

in the writing world

(Jim Wortham, January 28, 2022)

Snow & Ice in Janauary

Having lost my home

and belongings

betting in the stock market

Each day & night

I look for a warm place

During the days

there are stores

to shop in

sometimes getting a candy bar

and drink

During nights

I go to an old falling down

house– no one has lived in

for years

I keep my belongings there

and an old but warm

sleeping bag

I’m taking a day and night

at a time

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