A Glimmer of Hope for Black-Owned Bookstores

After years of closings that have decimated the number of black-owned independent bookstores, things could be turning around.

Source: A Glimmer of Hope for Black-Owned Bookstores
I’m sharing three different posts about a very important topic. Please click the link and share each one. This is the third. I could have easily tweeted or shared it on Facebook, but adding it to my site creates SEO for the subject and a backlink to the site which improves search and discovery.

Black-owned bookstores look to the next chapter | Fusion

“So much stems from ignorance. I think people need to read a book.”

Source: Black-owned bookstores look to the next chapter | Fusion
I’m sharing three different posts about a very important topic. Please click the link and share each one. This is the second. I could have easily tweeted or shared it on Facebook, but adding it to my site creates SEO for the subject and a backlink to the site which improves search and discovery.

Black-owned Bookstores Soldier-on in the Fight to Survive and Thrive | Caribbean Book Blog

There is a feeling among writers of color in America that the publishing industry is not giving them a fair shake. Many of them say that they are being marginalised by a publishing establishment th…

Source: Black-owned Bookstores Soldier-on in the Fight to Survive and Thrive | Caribbean Book Blog
I’m sharing three different posts about a very important topic. Please click the link and share each one. This is the first.

Part 2: Stages: A Handbook on Men and Relationships – Chapter 25

Chapter 25
I told you to bear with me. Now aren’t you glad you did? The whole engagement thing went over without a hitch. If I don’t say so myself it was smooth, just like me. Come on now, you know I’m smooth… Don’t front.
I truly hope you understand where this came from. I just felt a need to give you my story in the best way I knew how. I knew if I would’ve just told you about the Stages you woulda been like, “And who are you?” Sometimes a story has to be told. This is just the way I see it, but every man has a story, if you ask. But if you fail to ask then you’ll never know. In other words make a brother talk, before you give him your soul, make sure he’s willing to give you his. Who says all men are dogs? Whatever.



Business: Get Sh*t Done-How To Stop Quitting and Start Succeeding

51HSGhEoQRLThere are moments when you decide to become a business person where you hear names. These names always pop in discussions about entrepreneurship and speaking. Chris Cooper is one of those names. His name is not as big as a Tony Robbins or other major league motivational speakers, but those who know, kind of just know he’s primed to become a household name kind of guy. Right now he is a household name where it counts: in the boardroom and in business offices looking to get organized and looking to get stronger.

We all know there are countless books out there than can help people get started on the path to becoming better people. Those books are everywhere. I tend to lump them into these categories:

1. Books by dudes who are ethereal: Books by people who tell you everything is going to work out if you just work hard (primarily written by famous people who are not really in touch with reality)

2. Self-Help books written by people who haven’t really done anything: (but they are important because they were in the right place at the right time and people listen to them, Steve Harvey comes to mind)

3. Books written by people that give an overview (These books kind of scratch the surface, but when you finish it doesn’t leave you with any real lesson learned and the motivation wears off pretty fast)

4. Books written that actually work (Get Sh*t Done: How to Stop Quitting and Start Succeeding by Chris Cooper)

5. Books that give you a backstory and help you to carry the steps you learned from someone else forward (Of course this is One Hour To Wealth and my upcoming book The 30 Day Project, lol)

Seriously though, Chris Cooper has created a text that actually does something that is often overlooked. His book takes the working person, gives them the tools to become leaders at their jobs, and then the book takes those same lessons and allows those people who have excelled in their job to carry those skills into entrepreneurship. In other words, and I don’t say this lightly, Get Sh*t Done is not a self help book. It’s a book that dives to the core of why most people fail, procrastination. When I was in seventh grade I had a teacher named Mr. Evans. His two favorite words were “insubordination and procrastination.” When I would disrupt the class he would say, “Burns, you procrastinate and then it’s always insubordination with you, I’m writing you up.” To me, this was hilarious and whatever I was doing, I kept doing because I had gotten under his skin. What I didn’t realize was that I wasn’t doing anything special or smart and he was giving me a life lesson. If I could have listened, I wouldn’t have wasted a lot of years of my life.

Because I procrastinated, I rushed when I didn’t need to. Because of my procrastination, I used disrespect and insubordination to take the attention off of my failures. I eventually fell behind in school and lost major opportunities because of this. In Get Sh*t Done, Chris talks about how he could have written this book years ago, but he procrastinated. It’s that type of humble description that allows you to trust the information he is giving. See, what typically happens with me is I tune out books that seemingly regurgitate the same information. I tune it out because the person writing is talking at you, not to you. Chris Cooper lets you know that he is you. That he was the guy who procrastinated and for me that is a connective tissue. It’s cartilage between bones, blood vessels to the heart. I need to know that you went through it for me to buy it, which is what is happening everywhere now. People need to see what you’ve done to believe you. Get Sh*t Done allows for the discussion on how to improve your situation where you are. Not where you want to be and that makes the book a vital, living text. I give the book a 4 out of 5. Some of the information can be found elsewhere, but the instruction and personal narrative make the book worthwhile. Pick it up and learn how to Get Sh*t Done sooner rather than later.

https://twitter.com/cjcoop

http://chriscooperlive.com/

https://www.facebook.com/christopher.j.cooper?fref=ts

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris on Paul C Brunson’s Mentor Monday. In keeping with Chris’ instruction I could have procrastinated, but I realized that “buried under layers of excuses, delays, rationalization, procrastination…that keeps us from achieving,” I simply had to say yes to Ella and Paul and my life has been changed since that day. Click the link to read about that day and watch Chris Cooper on Mentor Monday.

http://www.cbpublish.com/business-being-ready-when-your-number-is-called/

Stages: A Handbook on Men and Relationships

 My gift to you for visiting the site is that I am going to serialize my novel Stages. I am going to post each section here on the site for you to read when you get bored. I hope you take a few minutes to post comments on each section. Some of the chapters will be split due to length, but I’m sure you want mind. At anytime you can buy the novel if you want to read the old school way. I hope you guys enjoy this.

Introduction

A handbook is an informative collection of thoughts on a certain subject, right? But why is it the one handbook you’re looking for never seems to exist? That one book that will explain the only thing that seems to be important to women most of the time: How and why do men do the things that they do?
A couple of years ago I had the bright idea to write down this philosophy that I came up with. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that I should enlighten others with this theory of mine. This super informative handbook was put together to benefit both men and women. Now I’m not saying what you’ll find between these pages will repair or prevent certain things from happening, but it will place a new perspective on how a male develops in response to relationships. I think what is written will clarify what a man might be going through at a certain time. Sounds interesting huh?
The easiest way to give you my philosophy on the phases that a man goes through before he decides to call it quits, is to give you my story. If you get to parts of the book you find familiar, bookmark that section and speak to someone about it. Who knows, you might find that this book can help with certain issues. Remember this book was written over a course of time and then pieced together to ensure that this tour of understanding remains clear. What I’m saying is follow close and highlight sections, so when the time comes to have some sort of discourse with a friend or a loved one, you’ll have something to use as a foundation for a pretty good argument, or a pretty good discussion.

Sometimes the easiest thing to do is tell the truth. Beyond taxes, death and trouble, the truth is the one thing that will, for certain, come about. Now it could be said that there is a time and a place for truth, but I’ll be damned if I don’t know when the right or wrong time is to tell it like it is. I assume a stutter gives the brain time to pull away from a situation and find the right words to say. But how in the hell long does it take to stop stuttering?

I mean, I’ve been stuttering for most of my twenties.
Up until a year and a half ago, I didn’t want to pay attention to how bad the stutter was.
It wasn’t a verbal stutter, don’t get me wrong, I’m a smooth brother, too smooth for my own damn good. Let me see, how should I put it? I’m as smooth as a silk shirt sliding on satin sheets at midnight after a glass of wine that turns me into the coolest linguist since Goldie. How is that? Was that smooth or not? Tell the truth, from those few words you can see that I got game like Tim Duncan, silent but effective.
Stuttering, as I define it, is the inability to accept a change for the better. My stuttering has been my inability to move up to Stage Three and maintain that level. This isn’t really a knock against me, it’s more or less a reality check that all men do at some point or another. It’s a very necessary check considering that the duration it takes a man to move from Stage One to Stage Four, varies. For some brothers it’s fast, but I tend to think that those brothers are lying to themselves and they don’t have the benefit of knowing how to keep their goals in a clear path of sight, so they accept the first woman that comes along and they settle. I know where I’m headed, I’m just taking my time to get there.
I see and will continue to see relationships in a simple manner. First, if a brother decides that he wants it to work, then it will. If he doesn’t and he has any doubts at all about the woman he’s with, he will cheat, unless he has taken his time in getting to Stage Three or Four. I’m getting ahead of myself.
I know the path to true salvation. A system which, by the time I finish giving you the details, will assist you in knowing where your man stands. There are revelations to prophets of every generation. I have chosen to be one of those prophets and tell it like it is. Whether this reforms me, I don’t know. In all likelihood, it won’t, but I find it to be extremely relevant at this time to allow this prophecy to be placed in a new bible. Tee’s Bible of Unsolved Mysteries. The unsolved mystery being the way men work. I considered creating a how to book and giving a step by step method so brothers can recognize where they are in their personal development, and for sisters to understand what a man goes through. But that would be too easy and nothing worth having is ever easy.
During this guided tour there are several instances in which I will refer to general situations to explain certain things, bear with me and pay attention to the details. Remember this is a work in progress. Things may change and will change by the end of this book, but look at it like this, progress can only be made by changing, even if that change is slight.Buy Stages: a handbook on men and relationships now if you want to read it at your own pace, or keep reading it here by searching the site.
 

The Dragon's Tooth: Ashtown Burials 1 by N.D. Wilson – a review

Typically my reviews are less reviewish and more analysis, but what does that matter? They are all pretty informative so what do you expect of this one? Okay, you see the cover? Kid with dark hair, the author’s name has two initials and the last name, the title has a mythical quality and the first thing that comes to mind is… That’s a bit too easy isn’t it? I honestly can’t look at YA fiction the same anymore. JK Rowling has literally changed the landscape to the extent that whenever I see a kid on a book cover I automatically place the book into my “The Next Harry Potter Replacement”. Which honestly isn’t fair to the author or the narrative, but that is just the way it is.  When I read the Percy Jackson series, I felt the same way, and I actually enjoyed that series. I even picked up the Red Pyramid and read it. I hadn’t read anything by N.D. Wilson before. As a matter of fact, I didn’t purchase The Dragon’s Tooth. It was a gift from my play mom who thought my son might enjoy the book since it had been featured on NPR. I began reading The Dragon’s Tooth right before the Christmas Holidays and amidst all of the small business craziness I finished fairly fast which means one thing… I enjoyed the narrative. While the book only shares it’s mythical adventure qualities with Harry Potter the comparisons stop there. I would have to say it is closer to Percy Jackson since the characters/ protagonists are All-American kids, but the comparison also stops there. The Dragon’s Tooth is a bit darker. I guess it’s more closely related to the late HP books. Man I confused myself with those last few sentences.

The Dragon’s Tooth is about the Smith family: Dan, Antigone and Cyrus. Two brothers and a sister who live in and operate an abandoned hotel that is more Bates Motel, than Circus Circus. The three come into ownership after their father dies and their mother is placed into a mental institution. The kids have to leave their California home and head to the mid west.  The story doesn’t take very long to get started at all. Within the first few pages the reader is introduced to Billy Bones a guy who can lean on neon light posts that have been broken for years and the sign will come to life. Billy Bones is on the run and the Hotel is his last resort before passing his legacy on to the Smith kids: Antigone and Cyrus. What is his legacy? This is where the book deviates from classical mythology. While Harry Potter delves into the world of wizardry, Percy Jackson captures Greek Mythology and The Red Pyramid focuses on Egyptian lore, this story creates a new opportunity to educate in utilizing a story that I had never heard. The Dragon’s Tooth leans on Irish Catholic ‘history’ and St. Brendan.

Billy Bones after an extemely fast paced firefight with futuristic weapons, has passed on his estate which has to be earned through the Order of Brendan. Instead of going into details about this part of the book, which like HP and Percy takes place on a campus, I will explain that Brendan The Navigator’s story is closely aligned with the book. Once again I won’t leak any of the plot here, but I will say that you should read about St. Brendan prior to reading the book. Then again, maybe reading about it afterwards will give you that ah ha moment in understanding how Ashtown, the campus/city, could possibly exist.

N.D. Wilson has created a narrative that works, but moves a bit too fast. I was never really connected to Cyrus and Antigone; and the big brother Dan is in the book so breifly that he is really an afterthought, an afterthought who has to figure in prominently in the future since he is changed by the antagonist Dr. Phoenix. The book also ends with the theft of an item that could change everything, but the campus settles back in after an attack and Cyrus and Antigone continue moving through their process of becoming Explorers. This can be compared to HP moving through the O.W.L.S process, but this happens far too quickly in Dragon’s Tooth.  Overall, the book is definitely worth the time and could open the door to a more in depth study of creation and science as well as the importance of protecting the environment and even those things that could harm us all.

On my book scale I give The Dragon’s Tooth a 7.5 out of 10 and I highly recommend the book to YAs and Old Folks 🙂

Visit N.D. Wilson online

Buy the Book Here:

Stages: Handbook on Men and Relationships – Chapter 2

Chapter 2
My philosophy on relationships is straight out of the Bible, “Do unto others.” The way I see it, you’re only going to get married once. At least I am. I figure if I get all this playing games stuff outta my system now, I’ll be a better man for it. I’ll be able to love whoever I decide to settle down with unconditionally because I will have gone through my midlife crisis.
Look at it this way. If a brother doesn’t get to hit at least twenty different women in his life, okay fif-, how about eight different women in his life before he settles down, then he’s going to mess around. I don’t give a damn who he is, he will fuck around on his wife cause he’ll always be like, ‘Damn I didn’t get to hit any other skins, and look at that sister right there.’ That’s right, that’s the kind of thing he’ll say right before he tips his butt out to the Freaky Luv hotel on MLK avenue, cross the skreet from the store where he bought his Big Ding Dings Condoms. Don’t laugh, you know I’m right. A man has to get this stuff outta his system, if he doesn’t then he becomes one of those cats that turns forty-eight years old and goes out to buy a red Corvette and find him a little White, Black, or it doesn’t matter what color, chick with some plastic titties to spend all of his wife’s hard earned money on. More than likely he’ll find a woman that’s different or to use a more concise explanation, the exact opposite, of the woman he’s with. So understand that if a brother doesn’t go out and be wrong for a little while he’s never gonna be able to get right.
I’ve begun to figure out that it’s better for me to stick to my own kind. A lot of brothers out here in sunny California don’t feel that way. Don’t get me wrong, ain’t nothing wrong with having sex with others, but it’s awfully hard to settle down with someone that isn’t the same race as you. I don’t want to go through the drama which comes along with interracial romance stuff, like the stares and whispers from people you don’t know and hell, the stares and whispers from the people you do know. Don’t get me wrong I’m an equal opportunity man, it’s just awkward. If I happen to fall for someone that isn’t Black I would really have to put my life in perspective. With sisters I can feel comfortable if my plans go awry. I’m not saying it’s okay to play sisters and not play other women, I’m just saying that I wouldn’t feel comfortable getting caught up with someone other than a sister. You know what I mean?
I’m going to be straight, in the future, as long as you let me get this messing around stuff out of my system without tripping. Doing what I do can’t be so bad you know? Most women like bad boys anyway. But then again I’m not actually bad. I’m one of the good guys. I’ve never cheated on any of the women I’ve been with. At least not literally, I always ensured that one woman was out of the immediate picture before I moved on. In other words I don’t leave any loose ends and I don’t stay serious for a long time, that shit can be the death of you.
What usually happens to most women is some egghead strings a woman along for more than three months without stating that he is unsure of what he wants at the time. He allows himself to be too intimate and instead of pulling away, he pushes it and then tries to walk away, not cool.
Anyway, because this is a handbook, I would like to give you an example of what some pick-up styles are. First a brother will overhear some sisters talking about something they enjoy. He then plans what he’s going to say to the woman of his choice after he has thought of something that he can say that will be similar to what she likes, a keyword that he has overheard. Dig this, it’s rather long so go with the flow and see if you can catch what I’m saying. This is another one of my fine examples:
Brother stands around in a club, or maybe at the beach and listens, rather overhears, what a group of women are talking about after he has taken all of the information in he forms a plan. He gets the woman to talk for a minute about something that disturbs the woman,
“I’ve been hurt a lot and I really don’t trust most men.”
“Yeah I understand that and I understand why you are so closed right now. I’m just looking for a friend someone to kick it with. You know go to the movies, to poetry readings-” boy says hoping these are the right words.
Remember the keyword? In this case the brother overheard the word poetry in this woman’s conversation. He has decided that this will be the basis for a good conversation.
“You enjoy poetry, I do too. I like relaxing and hearing good mellow poetry,” says girl.
“I like Slams myself.”
“Slam poetry is overrated.”
“What? Are you crazy? Spoken word is the bomb. You must be going to the wrong places.”
“No, I’m going to the right places.”
“That’s why you’re meeting bad men.” With these few words the conversation begins to turn to relationships. It often happens unconsciously.
“Huh? What do you mean by that?” says girl.
“Look, Slam poetry is emotion, anger, frustration, love, all compressed into an immediate flow of verbs and nouns that are spontaneous.”
“And?”
“In other words you don’t have a gang of brothers writing bullshit, excuse my French, love poems to impress the ladies,” says boy manipulating the conversation to an area he’s comfortable with.
“How does that make me meet the wrong man?”
“Well, a brother that’s spending all of his time writing love poems is obviously spending a grip of time thinking of ways to get a woman to think he’s sensitive.”
“Hold on, let me get this right. You’re saying brothers at non slam poetry readings are only there to scheme?”
“Right.”
“Wrong. From what I understand slam poets don’t have an inkling about how to write a poem the way they are supposed to be written. They just curse, use big words and body antics to cover for a lack of content. It’s all about the show, not the material.”
“See, that’s why you ain’t got no man. You’re too high brow. If you just listen to what I’m saying-”
“Oh, I guess a sister is supposed to accept what a man-”
“I didn’t say all that now. You jumping ahead of yourself.”
“I don’t have a man cause there aren’t any men, just boys looking at old blaxploitation movies and listening to rappers, so they can be some tired ass players.”
At this point boy tells girl that maybe she should experience a Slam with him. Girl accepts and the game is on. Boy should now stress that he isn’t looking for a relationship, and let her know that he’s enjoying her company. After the first date is finished he can continue to speak with the woman, but he has to keep saying that he likes the friendship, he has to flip it and start telling girl how his last girlfriend played him. This creates sympathy. On the second date everything is getting comfortable so you make a small move like holding her hand if she is saying something important, nothing too heavy though.
Hold on, before I let this example get away from me, what I’m trying to say is this, if you know that the woman is going to be just a sex partner let her know up front that you respect her wishes and that you don’t want to force anything. As a matter of fact allow her to make the decision to be with you. In other words on the third date, if there is one, see how far you can go.
It’s the third date. Well, not the third date really because you aren’t dating, you’re just kicking it. Funny thing is when you’re just kicking it, a woman always begins to expect more and more from you even when you are attempting to be a gentleman and keep things platonic, as I do. Like I was saying it’s the third date, three weeks into your Friendship. You start making small moves, letting her know that you might be interested in getting more serious, sex serious not relationship. Dinner at her place, not really dinner, but pizza and videos.
At this point boy knows that there are only a few days before he’s going to get her in bed, so he continues to play the role. She plays a role as well, acting as if she only wants a friend, when she knows damn well she wants a man. It’s only natural. Simple supply and demand, women love companionship and men are more than eager to provide. By the time this third date takes place the friends have begun to kiss each other on the cheek when they see each other. She’s laughing at his jokes a little bit harder than she has been. As a man, boy knows there are points in the relationsh- sorry, friendship, when he has girl, when he’s in good with her. At the moment he realizes this, boy pushes it.
I’ve been at this point often, so instead of offering a, “Boy meets girl scenario,” I’ll leave the scenarios alone for a minute, because hell, what you’re supposed to do is common sense pretty much right? Alright then, I guess it’s not.
What you’re supposed to do is simple. You have good conversation, on the first date. Talk on the phone, until the second date. On the third date you push the boundaries by bringing up an uncomfortable topic, like old boyfriends. What this does is create tension. It also places you in a different position than the ex. You become sensitive. If you’ve worked the sensitive thing, in the next week or so you’ll be sharing a nice warm bed. For a Stage One man this process of getting in good with a woman isn’t as refined. But for a Stage Two guy the routine is pretty much set.
I know you are still trying to figure out what a stage is, I’ll get there. This is a process, you know like the one your pastor has at Little Rolling Creek of the Methodist Saints Ebenezer Baptist Church A.M.E. Why the hell are church names so long anyway? Probably because the more names, the more money you can charge for admission. I’m sorry but I had to say that.
Buy Stages now if you want to read it at your own pace, or just check back to keep reading it here on the site.

The Bond: More than a review

(revised from 2011)

Last week I bought Gil Scott Heron’s final cd “I’m New Here“. For a week straight I have played this album from beginning to end while driving around the city taking care of my small business. As an avid Gil Scott fan, I am always overwhelmed by the power of his baritone instrument conveying a variety of messages of empowerment, confusion, hope, loss and spirit. I have told anyone who will listen that this new complilation of poems and songs, this short collection, is a bookend. The album is almost a perfect conclusion to a life that, in his own words, “If you have to pay for things you’ve done wrong, (He’s) got a big bill coming.” Gil Scott Heron was a man tortured by drugs and an existence that demanded he do more for people of the African diaspora. This bookend begins and ends with a poem named “On Coming From A Broken Home”. In the first poem Gil discusses that he was raised by women and because of this he is a man. In the final poem of “I’m New Here”, the second part of this poem, he concludes by thanking his mother. In this moment, I feel connected to Heron. I too was raised by women, my mother and my sister. Like Gil Scott Heron, “I was grown before I new I came from a broken home.”

Although I always felt an emptiness in regard to growing up without my father, this was something I have never really been able to discuss with anyone. I received the book “The Bond” from my play mom a few years back. The book sat near my nightstand and was always close to me, but I could never begin it. I didn’t want to. I knew that it was about men reaching out. The authors, Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt, authors of The Pact were addressing something that for me was a bit too close to home.

They took on the decision to reconnect with their fathers who were absent in their lives.  I finally decided to read this book as I was headed to my 40th birthday. Almost 20 years ago, I actually spent more time with my father than I ever had in the first 19 years of my life. I spent 3 days driving from Memphis to San Diego. My mother demanded that he come to Memphis and help me drive to my next duty station. I asked my mom not to do that. I told her, “I don’t know this dude. It’s going to be really uncomfortable.” She wanted me to be safe though and I don’t know what she did, but he got here. On the drive we talked, but it was small talk about me and the Navy. I didn’t know who he was and I didn’t care to know. I actually wanted to know, but I thought this was his job. I did try to visit him since he stayed in Northern Cali and I was in Southern Cali. I would go to visit, but he would talk to his family as if he had been there my whole life.

Even after I left the military, and played college basketball, I would try to visit, but I was reaching out. I finished “The Bond” today and what I discovered by reading three men’s stories that were exactly the same, is that if I hadn’t reached out and I don’t continue to reach out, then my father will never really be a part of my life. Through the words in “The Bond” I realized that there is something in the background of Black men who are absentee fathers that makes them all act the same. They all typically lacked a male role model in the home; because they never learned to interact and had been walked out on, they simply transmitted this legacy. What I share with the Drs is my decision to break the cycle. Because I didn’t grow up with a father, I made it a point to not reproduce another generation where my children would not know me. I have also built a bridge that makes my father capable of being a grandfather. The things that I missed, he is giving to my children now. While I still feel angry and confused, I have finally decided to move forward.

“The Bond” is more than a book to be reviewed, it is a narrative that has to be shared. Below is a poem I wrote to my father. I have never let him read it, maybe I will… soon.

The Three Doctors website

The Three Doctors on Twitter

Dr. Hunt on Twitter

Dr. Jenkins on Twitter

Dr. Davis on Twitter

The Three Doctors on Facebook

A short poem from my book It Often Deprives Me of My Sleep
At this point,
I’m beginning to open.
I can’t bring certain questions
into my mouth.  I’ll write them.
You are growing old:
Gray hair, thick stomach, hands without elastic,
wise words.
I’m teaching myself to hear you, see you.
I don’t know how you run:
Short strides, long strides, on your toes,
or did you use the whole foot to push you forward?
I can imagine you walking.
I can see you walking, your shoulders square,
neck leaning like your head hurt,
a slight twitch and sweep of the heels
on grass, concrete.
I know what you look like from a distance.
Your walking eyes though,
I don’t know them.
At this point I’m beginning to open.
I expect your calls every Sunday.
I get the phone and attempt to call you,
but I still think this is your job.
I have no 3 year old to 18 year old memories of you.
When you call to speak, like we haven’t been apart,
my wife touches my shoulder and sits my son on my lap.
He knows me, calms me.  He can make me smile.
I know death is near you.
The telephone is your lap.
I’m hearing you.
I’m 3 years old.