Where there used to voices
there is silence. An unmoving
fixed gaze.

Where there used to be a handshake
only a smear. It’s hard to know
which road to take.

Betrayal is one of those common
features in life. You learn this as you
go. So is kindness

but it’s rare in authenticity.
The fingers offering take twice,
the smile inviting

bares a row of teeth.

But today is today, crisp,
autumnal. Old ideas are dying
and new ones waiting.

When we survive, we become
something new.

Tennessee. JD's new book of poems is available at