PRESIDENT’S DAY? PRESIDENTS’ DAY? OR PRESIDENTS DAY?
President’s Day? Presidents’ Day? Or Presidents Day?
Regarding spelling, what’s the difference?
Even apostrophes must have their say,
Subtly shading each rendition’s sense.
In the first, Washington alone
Deserves the day, the only president
Every state has honored on its own.
Nor does the change of date change what is meant.
The second rendition suggests that Lincoln, too,
Should share the honor, combining holidays
‘Tween their birthdays, giving both their due,
Depending on which state such honor pays.
All presidents, too, the second could convey,
Yet the third one must be read that way.
I KNOW I MUST HAVE HURT YOU, CAUSED YOU PAIN
I know I must have hurt you, caused you pain.
More, I know that I have lost your trust.
I wish I had that moment back again
To pulverize my carelessness and lust.
Sometimes we have to lose what we most cherish
To understand how much we are in need.
We play with life until we nearly perish
To dare the darkness, though within we bleed.
I need you as the sun must have a rose
To turn its empty radiance to glory,
Or as a nation needs someone who knows
The secrets of its long-forgotten story.
I know my need of you more than before;
Thus for my trespass you may trust me more.
SIMPLE THINGS REMIND ME OF OUR LOVE
Simple things remind me of our love:
The sun slant just as when you kissed my hair;
Each time our songs hang lonely in the air;
Voices growing, dying as they move;
Emptiness that strangely we can share;
Nor do I miss you when at once you’re there.
UNIONS ARE A GIFT OF OUR OWN GIVING
Unions are a gift of our own giving,
Nor can we stand without a common spine.
Immense together, miniscule alone;
Organized, a mountain; else a stone;
Needing us to get what’s yours and mine:
So must all join that each might make a living.
TO ANGELS TIME IS LIKE A MOVIE
To angels time is like a movie
Into which they fly,
Neither real nor unengrossing
As we live and die.
HERE THERE ARE NO ANGELS OF DESPAIR
Here there are no angels of despair.
Arrayed in choirs, they sing only of joy.
Performing for the sheer delight of being,
Poised between the act of sight and seeing,
Yet infinite, yet of this earth, they toy
Scholastically with being here nor there,
Eden’s hosts, though none the worse for wear,
Come down from that sweet hilltop, anguish fleeing.
On those they light who for another care,
Now filling with their ecstasy the air,
Dear hints of bliss no evil can destroy.
GREATNESS IS EFFECT FAR MORE THAN CAUSE
Greatness is effect far more than cause.
Each hero is the servant of his fate,
On whom is laid the sacrificial weight
Reserved for those who would heed higher laws.
Given peace, I would have shunned applause,
Electing to remain a farmer, great
With long-gestating plans for my estate,
A much-loved labor lost to much-loathed wars.
So was I the father of a nation,
Having given over life and love,
Instrument of some far greater hand,
Not by choice but of necessity.
Glory was the means by which to fashion
The myth that would a king’s replacement prove:
Only I would do, and that demand
Narrowed, deepened, scoured, chastened me.