All our mistrals (mistrials)

I reveled in storms
then
standing in the yard
daring the lightning
laughing
wet hair hanging
like a robe

She was always afraid
of storms, something
I could give back
talking through
every burst
on the touch-tone
telephone

And in 1996
when the tornadoes came
and the tree fell
inches from mortality
we laughed–
I had coffee, cold
with the lights out
she had tea

and we laughed

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Mama

Sing me to sleep
Mama
The night is hard
press’d to give up
its joy
you went too soon
I want to hear you
tell stories
you used to tell

I knew you were happiest
Mama
when you were a little girl
traveling state to state
in a time when
girls didn’t give up dolls
so young
as now

For you I would have tea
Mama
so we could share
iced, with chips
laughs again over
silly thoughts
he never understood
but I always laughed

Laughs come at a premium now
Mama
like gasoline
and forgiveness
your unbounded joy
something I got for free
and tonight
I remember
and laugh

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

in my mirror

I didn’t plan
to dwell on death
navigating days
weeks months
trying to appear poised
but you are there
in my mirror
and it
feels unfair
to mark me

my forehead
my one difference
a birthmark
that some find ugly
but I like it best
a mark of myself
atop your Sicilian eyes
your mouth

they played games
in school
tempting death
in mirrors
late night slumber parties
chanting and reciting
always
I
in a corner
reading a book

respecting death
as something far away
that could not
touch me yet
each day
searching my mirror
for answers-
for your smile
among the living

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”

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.