Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Most of my friends have their mothers at eighty or more
but my mom died at fifty-six
her mom in childbirth at thirty
my great grandmother an early death at forty-four.
I’ve passed each of their milestones and stand at the age of sixty-two
scanning the horizon for something other than an early death
but how do I fill the hours with something that creates purpose
rather than hanging like an overripe fruit from a rotting tree?
When I look around I see
many older women somewhat befuddled
waiting for something but don't know what.
Some try to recapture their adolescence
and go from one party to the next,
singing in choirs and having lots of sex.
Others try to hang on to their jobs
pretending to do them as well as they could
but most seemed lost
not having fully defined what’s possible
to make aging worth their while.
I find myself in daily prayer,
supplications to a very busy god
asking protection for those closest to me
expressing gratitude for the
multitude of blessings
and hoping, like Betty White,
to score a Snicker's contract
before I'm through.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Long ago in the days when I was young
the only costumes we wore
were the ones created from our old rags
more tattered than our daily clothes.
A mummy was an easy choice
zombies or ghosts another style
anything to scare away the evil spirits
who scoured the alleys and corridors
seeking souls of the recently departed.
Our costumes were supposed to trick them
so they couldn't block all paths to heaven.
Our night travels on all Hollow’s Eve,
brought us treats at each household,
rewards for protecting the ethereal mists
and keeping lost souls away from satan.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We had a Halloween party and decorated the front rooms including the guest
bathroom. The toilet seat was rigged with a switch so when the lid was
raised the rotary phone on the tank rang until someone picked up the receiver.
We also taped a large black widow spider to the underside of the toilet lid.
The regular lights were replaced with a 25 watt rose colored bulbs.
It was an adult party but my husband’s sister, Eve, had to bring her kids. We expected her to arrive early so we could set them up in the back room where
nothing was changed and they wouldn’t be afraid.
Eve was late as usual and her daughter, Lori, went to the guest bathroom
before we could stop her.
Lori closed the door and went directly to do her business.
She opened the toilet and saw the spider then the phone started ringing.
She let out several blood curdling screams.
Eve ran into the bathroom but it took several minutes to calm Lori down.
Some of the guests thought it was an intentional stunt for a really great party.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Hollywood convinced you
in order to attract someone to love
you must smell nice,
hair and face washed and scrubbed
clothes clean and stylish
but most of all you must not stink.
Deodorant for your armpits
a fresh smell for your skin
a splash of perfume that lasts
‘till early morning.
Yet science suggests the scent for love
is more basic,
for women the musk of a male,
for him, a fertile bitch in heat.
These smells are the most primitive
with the longest recall power
and travel direct to the brain
where they provoke
some call it love.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
A fly is buzzing around my face
and crawling from dog pooh to my food
I know I must destroy this pesky creature
before it poisons me.
I grab a swatter
aand a rolled up magazine
to go hunting, waiting for it to land
then swatting with all my strength
and missing... letting it get away
to bother me throughout the day.
Unlike a human, the spider is much wiser
it patiently builds a trap,
a silk web in an unobtrusive spot,
then catches the fly
with very little commotion.
I need to learn from that.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Nature by its nature is pressed with intricate blueprints
a leaf is not a leaf but an oak, poplar, or elm
each recognized individually but with the same intrinsic design
a stem with branches embedded in a mass of green
turned to red, yellow, orange then falls
catches sunlight to sustain the trunk and roots.
All trees carry their genetic pattern
from a seed grows the tree uniquely
separate from other trees of different families.
There is no nature or nurture in the world of trees
unlike human beings regardless of their basic outline
can grow up to be murderers, doctors, or prophets
grown from the same genetic design?
Monday, October 11, 2010
They found her living by a dumpster
she never cried out to be rescued
but when she felt threatened
she crouched under a table or in a corner
arched her back, bared her teeth,
and held her hands out in front like claws.
There was no reasoning with her
she had to be left alone until she felt safe
then she came out like nothing happened.
Her face was crowned with a mane
of strawberry curls, she had
a freckled nose and dark brown eyes,
and spoke with a lisp of an innocent child.
A Mom and Dad with two teenage sons
wanted to do something good
so they agreed to bring her into the family
and adopt her as one of their own.
In the land of make believe
her story should have a happy ending
but her needs were great and in time
each one abandoned her.
The oldest son started using drugs
eating food out of the dumpster
shouting, "Now will you notice me!"
His parents thought he should know better
no one looked for him when he was gone.
The younger son withdrew
stopped talking to everyone,
found some friends who took him in
and never came home again.
The father sought love
in another woman’s arms
his wife's was too busy to fill his needs
he packed his own bags when he left
didn't say goodbye and she didn't miss him.
Yes, this story should have a happy ending
but when all was lost the wild child
climbed out the window
and returned to the streets
where she knew how to survive without them.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I remember when you said,
“I love you. Will you be my wife?”
I said, “No.”
You asked, “What do you mean?”
I said, “We’re too young
let’s wait awhile and if we’re still
together in a few years ask me again.”
And you did.
This time I said yes.
When you came home from your tour of duty
we planned a wedding and then were off
to Hawaii where we made our home
on the island of Waipahu.
I got pregnant right away
and within nine months we had a boy.
Justin was his name but you had to leave.
I took care of him by myself and had to arrange
for the move. The car needed to be shipped. I stayed
all alone for the first six weeks of our son’s life.
My mom and dad came to help but had to go
before the week was out because my brother
was lying in a hospital and would die if he didn’t
have surgery and they were gone too soon.
I flew back to my parent’s home
stayed awhile until it was time for you to return
then I flew out to South Carolina to find a house to rent
and waited for you to come back to me and you did.
We lived for a year in the little
brick house with two bedrooms
and a large backyard. Members from your crew
came to our home on Thanksgiving and Christmas
but we moved again before the year was through.
You had to go to Virginia to attend school.
We lived in a complex with lots of apartments
and then we were off to Florida.
I was pregnant again but this time you were with me
we lived in military housing so the move was easier
and in a few months our second son, Aaron was born.
It was easy having children being so young
because we had lots of energy and we were too stupid
to know that raising kids was difficult
we made it simple and grew up with our kids.
We were all as brown as cocoa berries
living by the ocean traveling up and down the coast.
The days flew by and then three years passed
and you were discharged from the Navy
you had to look for work to support our family.
Flagstaff was a bust so we
went back to California where our story began again
and we continued to grow and learn to truly understand
what love meant when we got married so long ago.
P.S. The wait was worth it don't you think?
Monday, October 4, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Charity is a virtue
where people act
in order to build good will
in any community.
The gift of generosity
supersedes the atrocity
of the group mind
to judge and persecute.
Charity is the altruism
that surpasses atheism
and every vagrant
benefits from its kindness.
A handout given for free
a hand up so they can see
what’s possible in this world
for you and me.
Charity shouldn’t be taken lightly
a gift given politely
to the less fortunate
is an act with its own reward.
Charity given in humility
will not be put aside
it will be accepted
and comes without pride