Saturday, December 18, 2010


She told me she was 89
and had cancer.
She told me she had been a nurse
in World War Two,
near the front.
And I thought
when all the chips were in the pot
she made a difference.
She told me she came back
and taught school for 44 years.
What a joke she must have thought:
I save the world
and come home and teach English.
She didn't whine,
there was only a courage
I pray someday to match.

Copyright 2010 David Elsey

Monday, December 6, 2010


My friends are under attack.
Denise has cancer
and is fighting for her life.
Maggie is on oxygen
twenty-four hours a day.
Gus filed for bankruptcy
and split with his woman of sixteen years
in the same week.
And I have troubles
which I will not go into.

Copyright 2010 David Elsey

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The day after I heard you were dead
I walked down NW 23rd
knowing it would never be the same.
Never again would I see
that patch of red hair down the street,
knowing when I got to you
I could chat with a brilliant, gracious, gutsy man.
Now I must look for the next fresh face
that can bring back that magic,
never quite the same,
but magic nonetheless,
a face much like yours
when I met you 26 years ago.

Copyright 2010 David Elsey

Monday, July 12, 2010


Father, where are you?
I needed you to be a kiss on the cheek,
an image to grow into,
a guide clearing the way into life,
and to name the birds darting through our yard.
You gave me an emptiness I carry like a scar,
an emptiness where you should reside.
You spared me your weakness
and the pain you would have given.
I am free from your image and demands,
and that freedom is dust
lifted by the wind
and scattered.
I was something you did not want or need,
an event, a mistake, early in your life.
And you went on like nothing happened
and there were no witnesses.

Copyright 1997 David Elsey