“You Learn Something New Every Day”

 “You Learn Something New Every Day”

On July 26, 2014, I learned something new.

I learned that there is a monster called Intracerebral Hemorrhagic Stroke.

It is possible I had hear of it in passing, but until that day, it lurked elsewhere.

It wasn’t when I went to my father’s apartment because he didn’t show up to the planned picnic.

It wasn’t when I was knocking loudly on his door, or after I heard what I thought was loud snoring.

Or once the door was open and the firefighters and I discovered my father on the floor fighting to breath.

It wasn’t on the ambulance ride to Mass General Hospital, or in the waiting area of the emergency room.

It wasn’t among the myriad texts and conversations with others trying to find out information from me while my phone battery was slowly dying.

But, later on in an exhausted moment, that I learned of the horror of Intracerebral Hemorrhagic Stroke from a young physician who drew the short straw and was tasked with explaining to my Sister and I, that our Father‘s life had been irrevocably changed.

However, that wasn’t the only thing I learned.

I learned that despite the irrevocable change to my Father, that there resided small graces and victories within the experience as it unfolded.

I learned of the extraordinary compassion and care that can be delivered by nurses, doctors, and staff.

I learned of the lengths and actions to which family and friends would go to support us, and my Father.

I learned that it is imperative to create a healthcare proxy and designate people to make decisions about your health if you ever end up in position where you are unable to do so for yourself.

I learned that when you suffer and Intracerebral Hemorrhagic Stroke that if you can survive past 30 days, then the chances of a long hard road to recovery could improve.

On August 23, 2014 I learned something new.

I learned that 29 days can seem like a lifetime, and that nothing is promised.

I learned how fast I could get to a hospital from my home. 15 minutes 20 seconds. 

I learned after years of working at a hospital, what it was like to be brought to a family grief room before you could be brought into the room of a dying parent.

I learned that death doesn’t happen like it does in the movies, or in books, that it is actually quite anticlimactic and that sometimes it is unclear when the actual moment of death occurs.

I learned that when an attending physician asks you as a healthcare proxy, what you want to have done for your Father, that all else falls away and you are locked in the eye contact of a moment, and you need to decide hard for the life. 

I learned that I could do what needed to be done for my Father, as he had done for us all his life.

I learned that when the dust settled, and the doctors and nurses cleared the bay to give us our last moments with our Father, that it wasn’t the words I love you, or that it’s okay Dad, but just two words forever: Thank you! Thank you!

I learned that in the staged moment of death, that whatever I brought to the table in the way of preconceived notions, it all succumbed to a need to express my sincerest gratitude to my father for so many things, and a simple thank you was all that was needed.

On June 25 2016 I learned something new.

At my son’s pre-school graduation, I learned that Atticus wanted to be a ninja when he grows up.

On December 7, 2018 I learned something new.

When I was cleaning out Atticus’s first grade folder of the weeks completed work, I found a butterfly craft that had a number of paper folds with a question on one side and the answer on the other. As I went around the butterfly wings I saw a familiar question. What do you want to be when you grow up? And I was certain that it was going to say ninja, but when I turned the flap over, it simply read: A Daddy. I feel nothing but the sincerest gratitude that I learned that today.

“Kabuki Hops Right Up”

“Kabuki” ©️C.P. Hickey 2018

“Kabuki Hops Right Up”

Squinty-eyed Kabuki tugs and tugs.

He can’t sneak away.

Although, that’s what he wants most.

He simply barks, and during other times hops.

I still remember when he saw a squirrel.

But, nothing happened.

He just sat and looked at me as if I had a preternatural urge to destroy small animals.

I didn’t.

He just looked at me with that derisive squinty eyed look.

“Maybe, It’s Cold Outside”


“Maybe, It’s Cold Outside”



The horror of a dark breeze brings me low.


Waiting hard for mobile warmth to arrive.


Huddled in an exposed hovel.


Definitive shivers adorn my epidermis in spasmodic waves.


Measuring my plastic constitution.


Pushing me toward downward despair.


Deeply swirling through me, into the hardened earth.


Breathing breaths of strain and clean.


Affixed to bitter red-wrinkled, beard strewn cheekies.


Winter doesn’t happen up around you, it directly happens to you.


It is a kinetic seasonal sin; forever changing the life it disturbs.

“One Foot Out The Door”


“One Foot Out The Door”


One foot out the door,

Two feet on the ground.

Passing gently through life,

Head up in the clouds.


Someone always pays the bill,

Nothing in life is free.

No matter what you do,

It’s not really helping me.


Others have allowed your sins,

Your account is in arrears.

You won’t get the same from me,

Wake up! The buck stops here.


My life’s a misery,

Because of choices you have made.

I’ve had enough, it stops here.

I’m done chasing false crusades.

POEMVEMBER 2018-DAY 30:“Enchantment Under The Sea”

Enchanted Ocean Front Property

Image Link

“Enchantment Under The Sea”

The sky is falling.

The water is rising.

Leaders of men,

Are constantly lying.

Knowledge derided,

Reason eschewed,

Scientific advancement,

Set back, a century or two.

Citizens beaten,

Apathetic, deflated.

Sensible legislation,

is not even debated.

How did we get to this place,

If you please?

A gradual decline,

Or traveling light speed?

What is projected,

A century?

A quarter?

Before most of our homes are underneath water?

The naysayers doubt,

The naysayers scoff.

A silver tongued devil,

Hides all the proof of,

Data and scientific speculation,

Of things that will happen,

To most of our nation.

What will it take to believe?

A hurricane season,

With storms A-Z?

More extensive forest fires,

Coastal cities inundated,

An impotent Congress,

That forgot what debate is.

What will it cost?

What will it be?

A future Enchantment Under the Sea.

Perhaps, we’ll grow gills,

Adapt and move on.

Nah, we deserve what is coming.

We brought all of it on.

Hubris, and excess,

Exploitation, and greed.

Elected officials,

Unwilling to speak,

Against special interests,

And big industry.

Fake news, and diversions,

Mealey mouthed duplicity.

There is nothing enchanting,

About living under the sea.

Unless of course,

You’re able to breathe.

One thing for certain,

That can’t be debated,

Our behavior,

Caused this process to become accelerated.

A special thank you goes out to my wife. My most ardent supporter, and the one that gets the pleasure of dealing with my cranky ass on the daily.  When she has participated in my projects in the past, I’ve cheaped out and wrote a haiku, or did something that didn’t have quite enough panache. So I’ve upped my effort on this post.

Poemvember 2018, has been a month-long poetry project where colleagues, friends, and associates volunteered a word or phrase, which I in turn fashioned into a poetical response. I had great fun exploring all the possibilities that were volunteered, and enjoyed collaborating with people whether they are writers, poets, or readers.

If you enjoyed this post, please come back tomorrow, when I will follow up this project with my December effort: The ProCrasstheNation.com Advent Calendar Blog. Give me a month, and I’ll give you 25 Mysterious Decorative Doors. What awaits behind each day’s door? Well, you’ll have to click the door links to find out. Please join me for what promises to be a fun month of poems, stories, and a few Christmas Surprises.

Previous Poemvember Post

If anyone is in the Metro Boston area on December 7th, please consider joining me, and my best friend, the West Coast Bandit, as we attend a night full of entertainment for a great cause at: Don’t Forget Your Art!

I will definitely be performing a previously unpublished piece. You should really come by and see if the poem is about you. How will you ever know if you aren’t there? Are you willing to take that chance?