after Alison Hawthorne Deming

Decent people circle close enough
for me to sense their breath,
blood houses align cobbled paths,
we emerge from hedges, snagged
and cut raw, near here water
rushes under bridges, kisses pilings
where banks fail again and again.
For days I return to this word: decent.

My grandchildren sigh relieved,
for the please and thank you grind
is shelved for a time, they can
snatch, grab, and graze at will.
My decency becomes a relief effort,
freedom from the old man’s saw,
and while I hunger for an end
to this aberration from the news,

they think, He’s wrapped too tight
to object to Pop Tarts and corn dogs,
he forgets to remind us to put
empty cereal bowls in the sink.
This is a new day, they shake their
heads, giggle, Granddad’s gone
on that walk with no direction home.




Kevin MillerKevin Miller lives in Tacoma, Washington. Pleasure Boat Studio published his third collection Home & Away: The Old Town Poems. Miller taught school for 40 years. He drives the Progeny Shuttle from Old Town, Tacoma.
Read poetry by Kevin Miller previously appearing in

Header photo of path by Unsplash, courtesy Pixabay.

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One Response

  1. Derek Sheffield

    I love how this one tells it slant. And how “decent” picks up “descent.”

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