Monday Random: crunch time

  • How do you act under stress?
  • Do you take it out on others or do you internalize the struggle?
  • Do you simply get to work and work doubly hard to complete the task well?
  • Do you crumble and cry in a corner?
  • The time for the craft show has come. It should be that craft show, or this craft show, but it is simply dubbed ‘Thee craft show’, which I think is a mistake now, considering expectations and hopes riding on one day
  • Everyone knows you rarely break even on the first show
  • If it rains, all bets are off
  • We keep coming back to the calm place and saying, it’s okay if we don’t make money the first time (lies, all lies)

Continue reading “Monday Random: crunch time”

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Variations on a theme

feels like summer 1989
as we walk past the flamingos
the zoo
has nothing on us
animals
all our instincts
engaged

foolish
to have accepted us as intimate
to trust even one word
he
did not know me
and now he is gone

I want to see my mother again
to tell her what has happened
and that she was right

Last words:
I want her to know, that
I am not alone any more
not bereft anymore
and I am not afraid

 

bleeding heart

bhearts

appreciating mom’s advice when she is gone
seeking out her hug in a pot roast
or a roast turkey
her kindnesses in the garden as the bleeding hearts
reach their peak
the way her laugh rang out
in grey ceilings
her hand reaching to say
peace. be still.

up there

Every love a mother can give
each moment we live
your Sicilian eyes
in the old pictures
with their longing
make me a little crazy lately
but I will try and be the one
to turn the tides to peace

Am I that strong? The
warrior I said I would be–
at times
I am a mouse
lost in my own maze
the lab shut up for the night
and
no cheese
no little bell to ring
no point

but I
will press on–struggling
to find out why I trudge through
(harder than it has to be)
until I cry out I am here–
I have made it–
mother

Do you remember
you said I never would
accomplish much
I know
(you had your doubts)
but I hoped
I pulled
I strained, and
perhaps
I have made you smile
somewhere up there

I.

you’ve been gone 20 years
but I felt you pass behind me
and touch my back
cold and reaching
while I was washing the dishes

if you are really there
you might help dry

II.

He reminds me Mom is gone.
Dead.
He laughs when I say
I felt something behind my back
and ask if it was her.

Do you fear the fire

Walking through the woods
my mother spoke of fire–
of course I had noticed it
a lack of green, and the scent
of the foray of pitiless flames
in a matter of months
and the ashes beneath our feet

Was it a dream? Perhaps–
upon opening my eyes
seeing her feet, immaculate
walking amongst the flames
in a frantic dance for life–
and afterward, the renovation–
her attempt to cover it up
with a smile and a flower

Overjoyed to see something
colorful and blooming
my jaw went slack, while the flower fell
from where she had taped it
to the scorched vine, fooling me
with the comfort of red petals
amongst the endless black.
‘But black is your color.’

Black had been the color
of cool and calm, during a time
when I could not settle myself–
tailor-made for me, the crisp lines
of white cotton over black silk
were enough to blur the vision
of soot smudges
on her cheek and forehead

I had not been there for her.
I wanted to stay.

And, bending to grab at the rose
I moved too quickly
a thorn piercing my finger–
‘You have blood on your
shirt”, she said
‘you have work still to be done–
wake up.’

____
(redux)
for my mother, 1940-1997

The end

The call came at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It was time. She was gone. So I was not going to the hospital to see her. I was going there to see her body. She was already gone, some time earlier. Not long. She was 56 years old.

Knowing myself, though I was different then than I am now, and I was no braver with death, I am surprised that I went alone. The hospital was 30 minutes away. My daughter was six years old and I was six months pregnant. After 2 miscarriages, or perhaps more, we were ecstatic to have made it to six months.

My daughter was still asleep and my husband would stay home with her. He lost his mother almost exactly a year previously.

Continue reading “The end”

Monday random: refrigerator soup

    • I am cleaning out my refrigerator and making soup. I find it cathartic to get a shiny clean fridge at the end and a pot of fresh, comforting soup
    • First I braise a chicken. My mother taught me how to use all of the chicken, no waste. Herbs, salt, pepper, garlic cloves, a carrot and a stalk of celery, plus water to not quite cover.
    • Once it’s in the oven I can get back to the fridge and gather up the aging, flaccid vegetables that won’t get eaten otherwise,  but will look and taste brilliant in the soup
    • I wash and trim them, and it’s kind of how I feel about my life the last few weeks. I’ve been lost in thought and meditation, trying to take thoughts of death in the spring, and clean them up into something more healthy and fresh, that still has life in it.

Continue reading “Monday random: refrigerator soup”