POEM: ex post facto

ex post facto

it took him years
to understand what happened

how she was always ready
to withdraw her love from her ungrateful child

is this the thanks I get?
is this how you repay me?

he hadn’t realized
everything was a transaction

another item in a ledger
carefully tallied, always in the red

how owed before his first breath
she was there, waiting to collect

/ / /

Jason Crane
7 November 2019
State College PA

POEM: pocket knife

pocket knife

when I was young
        I planned out how to kill him
        if he ever hit me again

when I got older
        I tried to forgive
        if not forget

when I became a father
        the wind blew his ember into
        my dry kindling; it caught

when I went home
        the past chased me, yelling,
        into their newly remodeled kitchen

when I drove away
        I cut all ties using
        the knife I always keep in my pocket

///

Jason Crane
21 October 2019
State College PA

POEM: BOOM

BOOM

I’m in one of those relationships where
talking happens, but doesn’t need to
right now Owen is asleep on the couch upstairs
I’m in the basement futzing
Owen’s sleeping energy fills the whole house
it makes me feel safe, even though I can’t
see them or hear them or touch them
you know that thing where you can tell
there’s a TV on in the house even if
the sound is off? it’s like that
Owen is broadcasting a silent message
I’M HERE EVERYTHING IS OK
of course “everything” isn’t OK
but the thing about being in this pairing
is that even the things that aren’t OK
seem likely to be OK in the end
it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way
how old was I when we got together?
42, I think. in which case I went 42 years
without ever feeling like everything
would work out … then boom, Owen.

/ / /

Jason Crane
15 September 2019
State College PA
but not for much longer

POEM: love at the Weis

love at the Weis

we had $16.14 in a Ziploc bag
when we braved the summer heat
to buy grocery store fried chicken

the display case was empty
but a nice young man in a baseball cap
offered to fix us up a batch of dark meat
if we could wait 20 minutes

so we walked down every aisle
holding hands, reading the names
on the bottles & boxes & jars & cans
telling stories about the jams
our grandmothers used or the price of nuts

I know I’m lucky every day
but sometimes when I’m standing
in the pet food aisle watching you laugh

I realize there’s no amount of money
we could ever have in our plastic bag
that would be worth more than
spending 20 minutes at the grocery store with you

///

Jason Crane

18 July 2019

State College PA

POEM: Golden Record

Golden Record

Little pieces of Bach and Beethoven;
Indonesian folk music;
love songs from Peru;
millions of miles from its parent planet,
alone in the dark,
waiting.

///

Jason Crane
Earth Day 2019
Planet Earth