We first met
When I wasn’t looking to meet anyone.
Just by random chance
Among ALL the others.
So unlikely was our relationship.

Him, thousands of miles away.
He and I were living our own lives in seclusion,
Though both of us had someone in our lives at the time.
Non-important people…
People we cohabited with yet did not really know.

It began ever so slowly.
We were both so very wounded, it turned out.
But in one another, we found a zest for life.
Electronically connected
Over an entire nation – apart, yet, together.

When we set upon the plan to be together,
He boarded a Greyhound and set out
On a journey of three grueling days
Robbed, buffeted, bored…
He seemed to want this meeting to take place.

When he stepped off that bus down on Stuart Street,
He looked as if he’d been drowned.
Nothing but the clothes on his back.
It was very tentative at first – those first few months.
So tentative that he felt the need to escape again just a few months later.

I remember his return after his retreat.
We were both much more resolved after our break.
We had done the hard work during our first few months,
So everything was still in place.
Meds, registrations, attestations to…

His surgery was our first big test.
I saw in him what would become my most precious gift from him –
He almost totally dispensed with denial, bargaining, anger, depression.
He’d go straight to acceptance.

I noticed how much easier his life worked due to that straightforward path.
I tried it out…little things first, then bigger and bigger.
And…it worked!
I had provided him with my undying love
And he gave that back, as well as acceptance of things unchangeable.

He suffered so much with that surgery,
Constantly accepting and moving forward.
Afterwords he could walk again. What a miracle!
He’d be hospitalized again for something unrelated but just as serious.
He lost his gait then, three years later, but accepted still.

Now, after ten glorious years
We are side-by-side.
Bonded so close. We rely on one another.
If you knew me, you’d know just what an accomplishment that is.
I’m no easy nut to crack.

We have our fractured family…
Him, me, the dog, a distant son…we love them all.
It is so nice to have that experience of wholeness and completeness.
Often we re-visit our cyber world where we first met…
Our first date.

Some would call our lives unnatural, forbidden.
But, I’ve lived in those “natural” lives that those some talk about.
I can tell you emphatically, THIS…this that I have now…
This is natural.
After sixty-four years – this…

My deepest prayers are of thanksgiving for this naturality.
Finally…after all the searching…all the pain and heartache…
I have this.
And I don’t feel cheated at all.
Only blessed, abundantly.

Not cheated…blessed.

© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD CPC, 2016

Serenity (For Debbi)

Serenity (for Debbi)
Serenity (for Debbi)

(for Debbi)


I am a lucky man;
Last week I dined with a goddess.
She was serene.
That serenity poured out to all…

I ate the Country Fried Steak.
The waitress laughed at the snappy banter,
We all were in the moment…safe and well…happy and focused.
That serenity poured out to all…

We looked at the bookstore,
Dawdled over Cranberry muffins and strong, rich Starbucks coffee,
Pulling ourselves from each other, but confident in our personal control over time.
That serenity poured out to all…

So, now – now that tomorrow has come and gone, leaving me behind,
Now that the sky cries and the moon is cut to a shred.
What now of serenity? Where is it? Has it left me empty and alone?
Where is…that serenity pouring out to all?

Beautiful angel…you ARE the Golden Eternity to me.
The knowledge that you and your soul mate occupy the same plane,
The peace to know, unequivocally, that this mortal coil has no more threat to you…
That serenity pours out to all…

And my hot tears run like water, when I’m alone, washing the sting of my selfish loss from my puny soul.
Fly on angel…steal a kiss for me…I see your tattoo

I see you in my mind’s eye…your hair is

© Richard A. Martin, Jr., MD, 1996




Across the miles
A man moves in space
To reunite with his link…
To the future.

The child struggles against the specter of sleep.
He feels the excitement of being reunited, almost succumbing to the dark cloak of slumber…
He makes it, tho.

The father, with a curious combination scent of sweat, Lagerfeld, smoke and fabric softener
Enters the room.

The child, eyelids heavier than lead,
Rushes forward.
He grabs his DNA link
At the knees…hugging hard…hugging long.

“I love you Dad”, his tiny voice said.
“I stayed up late just to see you!”
The father grabbed him by the armpits,
And pressed the child’s face against his wiry beard.

And a kiss sealed the transaction.
A pure and essential show of love…
A love that transcends all love…
The love between this father and son…
And the child slept the sleep of peace.

© Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD CPC, 1996