Present Distance

I’ve lived the fog of distance –
life’s highway a series of dips,
destination without promise

Learned that acceptance gains perspective
that climates change, and hope sustains,
and that in the stillness dreams renew.

I travel quieter paths now; appreciate
space – have surrendered to present distance,
certain that this too will change.

(Borrowed from One Woman’s Quest II, April, 2020. Image my own)

Do Not Tell

No one told me,
in my haste to grow up,
that adulthood, awash
with responsibility,
would also be lonely

And, no one told me
that the days and nights
of sweating over lessons
would likely not lead
to the life imagined

nor that commitment –
the kind portrayed in movies –
does not exist – the word itself
bearing more substance
than the act, fickle as it is

No one told me that
motherhood would change
my reality permanently,
colouring it with unfathomable
pain and joy – such juxtaposition

And, no one told me that
every battle I ever arm myself for,
regardless of its justification,
is really a struggle with self –
inner demons the most menacing.

I never imagined that age,
with seismic force,
would alter my perspective so –
leave me barren and yet enriched,
enthralled with the ordinary
and unfazed by the rest

And, in the end, as I watch
the vernal rains announce renewal,
in the quiet of my solitude, I am
amazed and grateful for all
that this crazy, driven life has become
and that no one ever told me.

(This is an edited version of a poem published in April, 2019. Art my own.)

Family Portrait

Did you know that life would come to this?
Flattened memories pressed between wax
the essence of our efforts forgotten,
the dreams, so carefully construed, lost.

You leaned toward the conventional,
and I was ever the sentimentalist,
and yet we ended up in the same place –
shadow selves standing at the banks
of our dishevelled lives…

Survivors, nonetheless, tokens
of a a past riddled with so many lies,
so much heartbreak…

We are ghost sisters
haunted, hunting,
unable to step away –

Drawn in,
pulling apart –
all that remains.

(Family Portrait first appeared here February, 2019. Edited here. Image my own)

Mental-Pause

Where do the words go
when they slip through the cracks
of my mental filing system?

And where is recognition
when words reappear,
no longer categorized
or referenced –
out of alphabetical order –

not even an inkling of recall
as if our acquaintance
is akin to discovery?

(Mental-pause first appeared here January, 2018. This version edited.
Image my own.)

Prayer Unanswered

Calm, the morning air,
mind lost in reflection,
mirror-still waters

Raise my eyes skyward,
pray for release, an end
to Mother’s suffering.

Nothing. Death
has its own rhythm –
emotions mud.

(I wrote this poem a year ago, when my Mother was in and out of hospital with heart failure and pneumonia. Now, a year later, she continues to struggle. “We live too long,” she says. “Pray for my release.” Photo: Mom at 94, courtesy of my son.)