My Second Winter

Even though some of these new poems were written in the same calendar year, they are part of what I metaphorically speak of as my "Second Winter"--sick again, another round of treatment, cold weather. My second "Watermelon Poem" speaks to how heartsick I felt and, in retrospect, was what I believe to be my intense longing for a death I did not care to spend months or possibly years waiting for:

The Second Winter
December 19, 1992

Summer came again
And just as quickly went.

The woolen socks
are back...
To stay
I think.
The watermelon shoes
Are put away
On a shelf I can
No longer reach.

however brief,
May come again
This year.

But the shoes,
Too little worn
To Have Such
Saging soles,
Will walk about
No more.

But I am not, by nature, a gloomy or pessimistic person and within a few days, another poem came called, "A Glimmer of Hope":

A Glimmer of Hope
December 22, 1992

Okay, maybe,
Just maybe
I've been looking
at the shoes
all wrong.

Perhaps they're
Not worn out.

Perhaps once more
I can replace the
Heavy woolen socks
With watermelon shoes.

So what if the shoes
Are a little worse for wear.

Fading semicircles
are barely discernible
To the casual eye.

Few really look
Beneath to see
The worn out sole.

And those who do,
are content to see
A hint of what once was--
Bright green rind
Cushioning hot pint fruit.

Those who do
Look beneath the surface
Celebrate the sole below
Replete with rends and tears

It is for them,
Those who
Celebrate my soul
That I will drag
The well worn shoes
Around on wobbly legs
Until the cobblers tell me
They have sewn their last stitch.


Appreciating the Normal
by Bob Riter
August 23, 2013