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Ron Hall


Raleigh, NC, US

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Calculations of the Soul


Ron Hall

My uncle lived in a world
whose circumference seemed drawn
from the loss of a twin at the crisis of birth
to the confused line of his sexuality.
A man of music, stories, and laughter,
the gifts were a poor measure of grace
against the burden of self-revulsion
that festered within his gentle heart.
I remember him at the home in Arcadia
where he sought refuge from his disquiet,
numbed to silence before the terrible equation
of that room filled with stumbling, shamed lives.
His led to a bridge over the Hillsborough,
a passer-by reporting a cry from the water
when my uncle proved his last calculation
upon the value of a life contained in secrets.
After his death, I inherited his slide rule,
an instrument he used with such precision
to capture the beauty of numbers in certain bounds,
but a useless gauge before the soulís inconstancy.

Still you


Ron Hall

Lazy Sunday
in the quiet after a weak storm,
cars upon the dampened road
hiss in passing
with the mild urgency
of tardy believers in rush
to the church at the corner,
summer's last warmth plumed
in vaporous loss behind them.

On the patio,
watching those gasped breaths
of a season sliding to its end,
I indulge memory
and my want of you,
covet the tainted miracle -
you pausing here to wave
me back to us, to the hurricane
so alive but at its eye of grieving.

What else for a Sunday then,
but tepid faith
and the sin of madness.