Getting Acquainted

Despite the long and arduous journey to life, this little one remains curious. We spent a wonderful day together getting acquainted.

Priorities

Supper dishes abandoned,
we cruise the backroads,
destination: river’s edge

A muskrat creates ripples
distorting mirror images
disappears into murky unknown

A canoe glides by,
occupant a silhouette
in the golden sun’s descent

We linger in the warmth
of the fading glow, celebrating
summer’s gracious moments.

(Image my own)

Weaving Meaning

Nuances of nostalgia –
jagged edges
succumbing
to unsuspecting cubes

nourishment
moving and opening
I distract
We grapple
under construction

Meaning percolates
This is life
these bits and pieces
of a resurrection
dragons and time machines
ticket stubs
scattered.

(Originally titled, Weaving Bits and Pieces, this was a found poem – the product of collective responses to a prompt. Image my own.)

Absence

Slippers, perched at night stand,
twitching impatiently,
mark the absence of feet,
cannot appreciate the meaning
of unruffled bed covers.

Abandoned, a coffee mug
bemoans its curdling contents,
complains of thick brown lines
contaminating its porcelain shine,
has not noted absence of hands.

Chair, pushed back from desk,
in partial rotation, sits awkwardly,
commanding attention, disturbed
by its misalignment, has not thought
to ponder absence of body.

House, uncomfortable with silence,
creaks unnaturally, loudly voicing
objections to the absence of footfalls,
automated machinery and incessant
rings, beeps, and chimes of technology.

I try to reassure them that the absence
is only temporary, that the man whose
presence so strikingly fills this space
will return, hope they cannot read
the apprehension in my tremulous heart.

(Absence was written six years ago, while my husband recovered from a triple bypass. Image my own.)

Needing a Sign

Restlessness accompanies me
on this sojourn today –
unfazed by ripe red
belly of robin,
or shimmering emerald
of breeding merganser’s crown.

My lens seeks out decay –
rotting wood, darkened cavities,
as if my soul craves reassurance
that life persists even where death
hovers – I need a sign

Discontent, I move on-
drive the river road
snail’s pace – praying for
something to shake
this malaise –
birds come and go,
trees radiate Spring green,
I pause, unmoved.

And then I spot it,
across the river, up high,
a massive hulk;
lens raises, adjusts, snaps,
the regal hunter turns toward me
regards me with ferocious intensity,
does not falter on his perch –

All-seeing, fearless,
he is spirit-manifested,
a messenger, lifting me
from stagnation –
momentary redemption.

(Needing a Sign first appeared here, May 2019. Image my own.)

They’re Just Family, After All

In anticipation of guests,
the hostess – always bent
on pleasing – carefully selects
the script, ascribes roles,
envisions an afternoon
of light repartee, peppered
with philosophical pondering –
satisfactory entertainment.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, confident
in the outcome, fatally smug.

Crowd arriving, she fails
to read disinterest in eyes,
politely attempts to orchestrate
interactions, while they cast about,
calculating, shunning protocols
of etiquette, dispersing in
an unsettling way, then returning,
savagely encircling their prey.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, panic rising,
confusion overriding confidence.

Unprepared to defend herself –
bears no arms but the giving type –
she ducks, grasps, attempts
retreat from the onslaught
of vindictive agendas, but the wall
of stored grievances, spotlighting
a history of injustices, corners
her, hopelessness in its wake.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, knowing
full well the legacy of pain.

It’s friends, in the end,
who save her – a surefooted
cavalry, bearing the swords of
understanding, compassion
their war cry – reigning in the
once-invited, now betraying
guests – objective hearts
demanding an end to the fray.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells them, tells herself,
composure a mere thread.

Tables turned, the offenders
now plead for forgiveness,
beg for help, pretend the slights
were unintentional, harmless,
expect their hostess to step
over the bloodied and slain bits
of herself, and with benevolence,
restore her love for them again.

They’re just family, after all,
she says weakly, the torn script
of her expectations scattered.

(My art, entitled She Stands In the Middle of It All. This poem first appeared May, 2016)

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)