Friday, January 19, 2018

Pieces of Mine-Chapter 2


Mom told me Grandma died

I was 8 

I went downstairs

Danced around the pole

In the unfinished basement 



The pole was always cold

It always felt different than me

Leaning my cheek against it

Many times, for solace

During hours in my make-believe world 



I ran around that pole

Many times, until I cried 

I don't know if I was sad

Or just crying because

I thought it the best thing to do 



I went to my room

Laid on my back

When Jennifer died. 

Mom was sitting on the floor

Reading about it in the paper. 



When my other grandma died,

I don't remember crying. 

I was older, numb to her,

Since her stroke

The natural course of things. 



Stage in my life

Only vaguely aware

What my feelings were,

What their names were

That they were mine. 



Guilt not seeing her

More than one time

Over 10 years ago.   

Unfulfilled imposed obligation

Or sadness. 



Once in a bookstore

In a mall

She bought me Snoopy the Flying Ace

I told her

Mom called her senile. 



I didn't know

What that word meant,

Doomed, I shouldn't have mentioned it. 

My own young children

With mouths and minds.

Pieces of Mine-Chapter 1


The wind is a troupe of spiders

Hang gliding on dazzling strands of hair

Like they do

Single web strands tree to tree

Reminding fall year after year 



Standing stiff, shy, awkward

Young legs bare

Folded anklet socks. 

Hands like mine

Under white gloves

Picking at nail beds

For comfort and alive 

The smile revealed

Glee had won!



They leaned against

A new car

Prop a top a hill

The Perfect day

Fall crisp aired North Dakota. 

An engagement captured 

Not a hint of the usual

Smart aleck sarcasm

In his happy Mickey Rooney eyes

Much before my time

No story of mine



Where did the coldness start

walls clang to a locked steel garage 

A word, an opinion, judgement, a look

The fridge door, or the creak of a stair 

Would they like my hair

They hate my hair

Whispering about the butchered man

Above me in the kitchen

as though I stand deaf on the stairwell

Fresh from a flight with pheasant hunters 

Grandma sat silent

Wet eyes and sad frown

Blue and shorn close

Aphasia blocking the tones 



This trip was very hard 

Sobriety was three fresh

I creeped to the basement corner

Clinging to the corded phone

Coming out of the wall

Absorbing the wisdom of a friend

Leaving the table to

Cry in the powder room

“Don’t cry over pinochle.”

The mirror answered

All You Are is Work


Job job get a job
Make the money
Pay the bills


Job job get the job
Be somebody
Win some thrills

Forget your dreams
They are in the dirt
No one wants your skills

Take your pills
Today you are 
All your money is worth

Do you hear the lies
Play your drums louder
Keep from losing your face

Take a kayak off the shelf 
You can float instead
Into inner space

Mechanics Are Angels


Don’t look for it in the rain
As you are driving
Your mind is making a movie

Don’t imagine you see someone 
Hanging from the bridge
Or a car off the road down the hill

Find the taste of a ripe strawberry
Bursting red in your mouth
Erase Prussian Blue

The car people
My best saviors
When I was an orphan

The water pump broke
When the drums were so bad
You fixed me for free

At the red light 
I lost the exhaust
Under the truck on the road

You welded a new one
I nursed in the dark
In your office

So Kitsch


A person with depression

On occasion

Might not want a gun



They are all the rage today
Women buy pink ones
Covered in camouflage


I know myself
It is much better 
To keep walking


Those trees never disappoint
Crunch crunch the leaves
Remind me to breathe


I know I have no reason
To simply disappear
Open the door and come home

Forcing Myself to Work


After the sun goes down
There will be toast to eat
Spicy jelly tastes the best
Habanero is orange

Soon it will be time to sleep
My favorite place to be
I hope that I will get good rest
Be treated with my dreams

Tonight, I would like to go fishing
I am lonely for friends
No one is here from my past
To sit with me and the moon

Kids are asleep
Animals are fed

Newsreels move way too fast
Tomorrow, I will write another one

2/7/17


Robot Life


The phone alarmed you were apneic 
When I arrived you sat up
You laughed, promising you were fine
Perhaps you were, but you still died

Based upon the first experience of one of my patients dying as a nurse.