Fred Miller

Fred Miller is a California writer. Over eighty of his storiesand poems have appeared in publications around theworld in the past ten years. Many may be found on hisblog: https://pookah1943.wordpress.com

The Lone Traveler

For the soul that’d been pierced 
to the quick with oceans of pain 
that cut deep into life’s very soul, 
he mourned.

Cleave to forbearance, they warned. 
Show raw courage, not tears. Tis a 
primal lesson of survival, he was 
told. Chin Up, stiff lip, they brayed.

Unhinged resolution led to temptations 
forbidden, a release of sorrows and strife, all 
cares and breath, a wrinkle of mercy aborning. 
Should he pause to ponder? Should he act?

The odor of fear welled up in a 
shadow of looming regret, a singular 
path to be left behind. Yet evening 
portals cast an alluring glow ahead.

A few precious moments with one loved, he 
longed to relive, a plea for a presence once 
more. A ray of hope in the midst of bewildered 
reality, he felt a blanket over dreams snuffed out. 

Should he roll and howl at the moon, sing a dirge, 
bend on knee anew, he wondered. ‘twas a trail ridden 
hard and true, they would say, a good run he’d had. 
Now with her, they’d be together for all time.

                            Winter Dreams

A mystic moon smiles down on wind-swept vistas
now silent in deep drifts of snow. Majestic pines 
bow down in adoration to a sleigh that moves in
peace save a horse in rhythm with the songs I hum 
of moments past with tots whose squeals once filled 
my heart with joy.

With fading memories, I am left with narrow trails to 
trek, aware that dreams of those I miss dwell on eyes 
I’ve yet to see, eyes that may have gazed on noted vistas, 
a generation that remains a mystery to me. Bewildered 
by these changing times, a ray of hope remains: a plea for 
moments recalled of those precious days we shared.

For me, my friend Hank remains to curl on folded quilts, 
his shiny nose amid his paws, and trusted Dobbin in his
stall, and crackling fires that stir a warmth of goodness 
that once filled this house with love. From my window, 
stately firs arrayed in sequins remind me that all is not 
lost. Gentle rest awaits, a gentle rest ahead for us all.

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