Poetry

FALLING

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in My Children, Poetry | 0 comments


I left my fear of heights somewhere along the road
I didn’t notice it was gone until I came to the last bridge
Stretched across the sky between the mountains.
I don’t know where I misplaced it, but I do remember where I first found it,
My nails clawing at the bricks and clinging to the flimsy metal rail
Halfway up the lighthouse tower facing the Atlantic
Thirty-eight years ago come March

Perhaps it died while I was sleeping
Like some ancient holocaust survivor brought down
Because he stepped off the curb into the path of a bus
Perhaps it withered away from neglect
Forgotten in the closet of my mind
Like last year’s fashion

Now I stand here staring down the abyss of my life,
Almost fearless
Well except for remembering the Mother’s day
My daughter and I laughed, cried, and got drunk together
And the morning sun found me bleeding and sticky with wine
On the sofa with no memory of how I got there.

She got religion somewhere after motherhood and marriage
And lost her memory of all the days we wasted
Doing stupid and loving things together and separately.
My nightmare of driving off the end of the bridge in Baltimore
Was the portent of a death I wanted long, despite my laughter.
I don’t know why she loves me not
Now that I have chosen to live.

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Still Living

Posted by on Jul 30, 2011 in Poetry, Spirit | 0 comments

The sky pulled me close this morning
Embraced me with its fluff of clouds
I could not help but hug back at such a spontaneous and unexpected pleasure.

My child declares me dead
And holds her breath until I disappear
Not as charming at 30 as it was at 3.
Of course I blame myself.

That long dark summer when she was lost at sea
I ached and threw money like confetti
And ran incautious through mortal peril
To bring her safely home

When she returned from the nearly dead
I slew the fatted calf and invited the world
To come marvel at the wonder of a woman-child who glittered when she walked
And sucked all the oxygen out of every room

None left for me
I held my breath and waited for her to notice.

Now I regret the path I took a decade past
But cannot un-walk it or make her turn
To see me, Desolate

When I told her I was going
The mask of her face held briefly to grief
Then rose to anger. Now she holds to her rage and pain without pity.
And speaks of me as dead

But the sky knows she lies.
The clouds flirt with me and make a sound like happiness
I laugh out loud and blow kisses.

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Tomorrow

Posted by on Jun 16, 2011 in Poetry | 1 comment

The wagons are almost loaded
I point my heart to the west
The hands that pull on my clothing fall away
As we start to roll.
The road lengthens behind me,
The shadows of forty years
Dance behind me in the dark woods
Right beyond the ring
Of the campfire light

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Spellbound

Posted by on Dec 6, 2010 in Poetry | 2 comments

I ran again in dreams last night,

My bare feet skimming the ground

Across the clover field that lay

Between the house where my grandmother lived and my own.

I was the light princess,

The one in my storybook,

Equally free from care and gravity,

A time traveler headed for the marvels of tomorrow.

Waking alone to a nightmare

In a world most dreadful dark

I scream

But the howling wind smothers the sound

As I cling to a string, so thin and worn

That any minute it may break

Severing all ties with earth

And I will be sport for the tempest.

Again today I take precautions

So the wind will not take me

I’ve gathered many sweet and madding weights

and glued them fast onto my frame

Even while my voice protests confinement

I’ve sealed all possible escapes.

Trapped by my own hand’s protection

I cannot float away

Or even move.

Fall 1990

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Regret

Posted by on Nov 12, 2010 in Poetry | 3 comments

The world seems too big tonight
To ever find the things
I so carelessly left behind.

The highway winds into the distance, black and uncertain
and while I cannot see them,
I know the ancient mountains rise behind
In the wake of my hurried passing.

I do not recall the journey’s beginning
and flight seems my only destination.

I run alone, breathless,
Searching the sky for dragons, the woods for lions,
Praying silently to whatever gods might be listening,
But no one comes to rescue me in dreams.

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This morning and the ones to follow

Posted by on Aug 6, 2010 in Poetry | 0 comments

Like the light switch in the bathroom

I am on when I awake

The soldier I must have been in a past life rises,

Finds her feet in seconds and stands alert, weapon drawn

Ready to do battle, clear eyed and invincible.

The stranger in the mirror startles me

A woman no longer young tries to stare me down.

I pretend indifference, a calm I do not feel.

The echos of many voices come to me saying,

No, it’s only a number.

I would never have guessed your age.

I smile and pat the taunt flesh of their cheek or arm,

Thank them for the compliment,

but inside I am thinking,

Good, then trade with me, just for today.


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