Short Cuts

by Adam Strong

Her through the phone line,

a pause, a hold in her voice.


The things we miss

as adults,

the turns of phrase,

the little pauses.

The in between of conversations are

opportunities are avenues,

five lane highways

where we can be like we were,

grown ups

talking like children.


We age.

We change.

We don't know how to be

kids and adults.

Where one begins and the other ends.



Don't want to be grown up when I hear the age in her voice.

Don't want it to be me taking care of her someday.

Want to be like it was.


Want it to be

Me and Mom.

Folding laundry,

Short Cuts on VHS,

Raymond Carver,

the poetry in a moment

on screen.


Tim Robbins

with a sandwich hanging out of his mouth.

Robbins being awful cop,

awful father, awful husband.

The mechanics of being awful

being grown up.

The grinding gears of

Art and artifice,

pretend for grown-ups.


The two of us

Folding laundry.

I could sit there,

and she'd marvel

at the way I loved a moment.

One who loves a moment

who loves another

who loves a moment.


Mom watching me.

Admiring a turn of phrase,

a strong piece of acting.

The lie in art.

Mom watching me,

when I didn't think she was.


I moved away from my


my old family,

Mom & Dad & Sis,

3000 miles way.

I started a new family.


I carved out my own life

out of the leftovers of

what I left behind.

Moved away as far as I could,

started over.

The only things I brought were

the things that made Me,



On the couch,

the laundry,

Me and Mom.

Short cuts.

When we loved a line.

The art of artifice

A Raymond Carver line,

The mechanics of being grown

Awful father, awful policeman.

The look from my Mom,

short and sweet.