Inadequate

Decades pass in a day
as stories unfold –
I cannot look away

War alters the landscape
renders time irrelevant
dreams ash amongst rubble

I have but an ear to listen
hand extended, heart open

Such merger recompense
for pain eternally imposed.

(Image mine)

Next Door

Next door cultivates perfection –
gardens pert with flowery blooms
like vibrant little soldiers heeding
the command of love’s labour,
shimmering with prideful confidence

My garden is overgrown vines,
chaos’ shameful exhibition,
bemoans the futility of planting,
knows there will be no follow through,
betrays the absence of love’s toil.

Life has schooled detachment
lessons in loss counsel defensiveness –
better to guard hope than plant it…

How can next door be so reckless;
do they not know this all for naught?

(This a rewrite of former poem also titled Next Door. Image 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)

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.)