by L.J. Carber
They cannot fit, they cannot go along,
And the reasons vary—pride, fear, or
Even love never tempered by time,
Illness of the heart or mind, or simply
Bad, bad luck: life throws them away
Until they throw life away….
She was one of the gentle ones,
The unlucky ones—a flower child
Who missed her time, an era she
Might have thrived in, free, alive,
Unencumbered by family ties….
If she had come of age in the 60’s,
She might have lived into her 90’s.
But lost and afraid in a cold world
Not of her making, with her bird-
Like heart breaking, she ate her
Last hoarded apple, then lay down
In the house abandoned of hope
To sleep and sleep and sleep until
She awakened safe in heaven’s lap.
L.J. Carber, 75, became a published poet in his 8th decade in over 110 literary journals/anthologies in 7 countries and two trade book collections: The Enormity of Existence  and Of Ether and Earth . Both titles and much of his work reflect the awareness he’s had for over 1/2 a century since having an NDE whilst almost drowning in a Vermont river: That he has, IS, a consciousness that predates birth and survives death, what poets once called a soul. Nominated in 2022 for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, he’s a retired teacher [America, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia] who has been married 42 years to a smart and beautiful Taiwanese woman.