The Crooked Ones


We weren’t bent this way

when we started out.

We used to be

straight as the sunrise,

and constant as the moon.


Time has a way

of playing cruel tricks on lovers,

twisting us up around ourselves

like old stands

of diamond willow.


I often play the game

of “What if?”

and wonder how it would be

if we had just kept

going straight.


I guess you’d have stayed

in your lane,

and done whatever it is

straight folks do,

and I would have gone

on along with mine

towards whatever

probably predictable conclusion

that life would have held for me.


We didn’t go that way,

either of us.

God knows

we’ve been making

more unexpected turns,

and wrecks,

met unexpected switchbacks

and detours,

floods, tornados,

and loose cattle on the road

than many others.


I guess we all wonder

about the trail less travelled.

Us, battered and harrowed

from our ride

down into Hell’s Canyon,

now just trying to ride out,

and the others,

who hit the occasional pot hole

on life’s highway

and think it’s all over.


Sure, it’s funny to us,

because know

just how bad it can get,

and it makes us try

even harder to do better,

in our own crooked ways.


We weren’t bent this way

when we started out,

but we became

whatever it was

we needed to be

to get by.

Patterns of our lives

twisted into our grain,

like a living puzzle;

one I still aim to solve.


In the meantime,

the two of us get along

in our own way,

just trying to find

the straight path

in an increasingly crooked world

every day.


By now,

we’re each bent

in such a way

that we fit together




HG – 2021

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