Quit That Rosy Glow

The town where you were born. It rots in the sun. It turns brown.
The town where you were raised. Too full of guns to walk down the street.
Too full of chain restaurants to eat.
Now you live in a city in another state. Too full of traffic to go anywhere.
Too full of gangs to leave your car unlocked.

Yesterday was not a simpler time. Most people were dead by 40.
Their teeth were full of cavities and hurt most of their lives.
The Revolutionary War. The War of 1812. The Trail of Tears. The Civil War.
World War I. World War II. The Korean War.
People back then hated each other too. They limped. They dressed up, sure,
but they woke to bad marriages, being poor, being sick.

I love the town where I was born. I love the town where I was raised. I love the city where I live.
The past was a problem. The present is a problem. The future will be a problem.
So it is with humans. Our lives are problems.
How to make it to sunset.
Death awaits at the end of the hall.
For now smile at small things. The wren that lights on the deck railing.
The chocolate chip cookie.
The woman or man who will come back from work tonight, and need praise, be tired,
needs to be held.
The white circle of the moon through the bare tree branches.
The stray dog that barks at you in the street, so cute.
The waves at the beach.

I visited my family’s grave site last Sunday. Four bodies below ground covered with yellow leaves
below a magnolia tree.
Father-Mother with one granite marker, Grandfather-Grandmother with another granite marker.
Like road signs, “100 Miles to My City.” “Road Work Ahead.” “Uneven Pavement.”
Nothing is perfect. Not even perfection, and certainly not becoming perfect.
Imperfect morning, imperfect afternoon, imperfect night.
Love it all, the rot, the repairs, the revelations.
Life is a whole.
Quit thinking the parts
Quit making life rational.
Quit giving advice. Like this.
A few people actually are killed by lightning.


David Flynn’s literary publications total more than two hundred. His background includes reporter for a daily newspaper, editor of a commercial magazine, and teacher. He is director of an all-day Nashville blues festival, the Musicians Reunion, now in its 35th year.

Photographer Steve Warren is a veteran, recovering addict and peer specialist who became a self taught Naturalpathic self healer. He changed his diet, started dancing, took to writing and performing poetry, and hasn’t stopped healing since.