“Father” Tanner, had a lovely wife, two wonderful daughters, and a future as church rector. Young, bright, athletic, and handsome; he inspired the congregation’s vibrant teen and Boy Scout groups. Eventually, he was ordained to the priesthood.
However, Tanner’s sexual relationships with teenage boys were discovered. He was defrocked, dismissed, and ordered to therapy, without legal action. Soon “cured,” he was again hired as Sexton and advisor to parish youth groups.
Thirty years, over 450 victims, and 2,500 counts of sexual assault later, Tanner was imprisoned, where at 67, he died of natural causes; shamed and disgraced, but never cured.
Look both ways.
Be alert for predators where least expected.
Never expect victims to confess.
Mind the gaps, remain skeptical, and verify if you trust.
They thought it was indestructible.
A once mighty oak.
Then one day, there it lay—
one fragile, entropic stick, atrophied
by the dominance of green fire,
enraged temperament morphed
from past passions into
mislaid trust, then to castaway love,
and finally, to the pain of the end.
Did he willingly dance away from the fire?
Did the stepping turn of his heel find and
finally crush that last unwilling, wilting twig?
Was it he or she who stood in the dark,
alone, searching for some deeper truth
without understanding? Only able
to struggle against the monster’s eye,
leaning in against injury
from false charges and
intolerable miscreant treatment.
Had they become allergic to love?
Did they both just get lazy?
Whatever cannot be, simply isn’t.
needn’t be defended against
blows from the unbridled ax of envy.
Then—it was just the inevitable end,
when even love was not enough.
First, look both ways. Then, look all around.
Finally, mind the gaps and cut your losses.
Lorry, was so apropos,
most correct old maid aunt
in navy blue turban with pin,
self-assured in sensible shoes,
purse over left forearm,
her small portmanteau
I loved Lorry, now I know.
But then one day,
I had to let Lorry go.
what the hell did I know,
long, long ago?
Look both ways, to the past for memories,
to the future for better days.
Mind the gaps in memory but hold on to what you can.
How can it be?
They were once lovers intent on solving the riddle of forever.
Time was the mere scent of one, aroused the other
and they clung together like peach and stone.
How can it be as time passed, such love was lost?
How did what was become unthinkable?
When did the passion of love serve up malevolence?
What paradox now leaves two enigmatic lovers
with a secret neither knows?
Look both ways on the road of love.
The past is not the future. The present is not forever.
Mind the gaps for the riddle of discontent.
His first words,
“What will you get?”
With such words our brother
accounted for decades of silence.
“He can’t help it,”
I’d tell myself.
“It’s not his fault.
He was raised like that,”
I told myself.
He’s your big brother.
He should be your hero,”
I still tell myself—
Not some pitiful old man
Who’ll never understand why,
I told myself, again.
Our sister’s bequest
was that he suffer
as he caused her, but I couldn’t
let her love lapse, I told myself.
Look both ways with family and friends.
Mind the gaps, but learn to live without them.