On Facebook

Every day

on facebook

I want to post how sad I am

and that I cry

in the night

I would like to talk about the pain that closes off my throat

but instead I write about the weather

It’s sunny today!

Sigh, rain again.

or maybe something about the fog.

Never mentioning the fog in my brain

or the rain of tears

that tempers the raging fire

my maddness has become.

I have become adept

at hiding.

Careful that no one should see

the crazy hanging out of me

like the tatty lace hem of a none too clean slip

peeping from beneath a more respectable garment

too hastily donned.

I cannot tell you where it hurts

or why

or even that it hurts at all

lest I explode, or begin to cry and never stop

dissolving myself into a puddle

So I tell you I am fine

because there is nothing else

for me to say.

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Dead

On the days

when it hurts so bad

that the bird inside me cannot sing

and instead hops about pointlessly

like a one-legged seagull

balancing endlessly on the edge of nothing

When I spend days on end

creating salty seas

and smaller puddles

with tears I shed for no apparent reason

I think of you

and for a brief moment

cease to imagine how restful it would be

if I were dead.

 

Possibilities

 Today I accompanied my mother to a meeting of her old lady beneficent society. It seems that I have reached an age that now qualifies me as eligible for membership in old lady clubs. Today was not the first time I had been dragged off to one of these meeting, but today was different. Today a gal I went to highschool with was also there We were in the same class, Adeline and I. Friends even, in that desultory fashion of people whose common bond is mostly the fact that they don;t fit into any of the other groups. She was my superior in the constant class war that is highschool. She always looked a bit more put together than I did, projected a more collected demeanor, came off as just a bit more polished. She was a better athlete and usually managed to blend into the background better than I. She came just a bit closer to fitting in and by senior year had carved herself a nitch of mild acceptance in our small school. This had required her to distance herself from me, but I don’t think that bothered her much. It really didn’t bother me that much, by then I had bigger things to occupy me.

After highschool she went to work in the office of the local mill and a year or two later married the owner’s son. They are still married to this day and have the requisite 2.5 children, house, dog, etc. She now lives in a house that is not more than a mile from the house she grew up in. I ran about the earth, lived in 7 or 8 different states, married and divorced 3 times, had 5 kids, worked a couple of dozen different jobs, own nothing and am living in my parent’s house again with no visible means of support. We have had very different lives. So when I saw her at this meeting, I rather impulsively said, “we should get together, have coffee or something. I would like to see you again and maybe chat awhile.” She looked taken aback and immediately distanced herself saying, “well….you can see me at next months meeting.” In a tone that suggested that might be too much contact and that I was a needy, whining person clutching at her skirts.

What I would really like to tell her at this point is that my interest in her is not so much in her personally, but in the circumstances of her life. I have a story in the back of my mind who’s centeral character is a woman who still lives in the town she was raised in and has always done the expected and predictable thing. Since I never did I am having trouble imagining it. Do you feel deprived? resentful? Do you feel like you missed something or do you not know that there was anything to miss? Is it a case of not missing what you never had? Or was it a conscious choice, rejecting all those possibilities for a safe life? A steady, even existence? I guess I am not going to find out from her. Part of me, the resentful, mildly rejected part, would very much like to tell her that my interest in her was more intellectual than personal (ie I wasn’t trying to be “friends”).

The larger part of me just feels ever so slightly sad. I’m really not sure why. Nothing about her life (about which I know nothing, but surmise much) is overtly pitiable. She has kids. A husband. I assume she has known, knows, will know, many joys and sorrows. Love, agony and suspense. All the biggies. Perhaps she has never had any curiosity as to what lies out there, beyond the bend in the river. I cannot imagine that, but I can admit that it may be And yet I am sad. Perhaps because I, having known more about possibilities and risk, realize more sharply what it is to pass one up.

 

I Learned What a Villanelle Is

I watch there while the water waves

water o’er which a seagull jives

There where the dinosaurs did bathe

the sea holds many sailors graves

cradled there an otter thrives

As I watch there while the water waves

the mighty sailing ships were brave

yet for their bones the osprey dives

There where the dinosaurs did bathe

it matters not, good men or knaves

the sea care little as she takes their lives

And I watch there while the water waves

becalmed and mad sometimes they’d rave

or yet made scrimshaw with their knives

There where the dinosaurs did bathe

for fish or treasure their all they gave

leaving behind their grieving wives

Still I watch there while the water waves

There where the dinosaurs did bathe

 

Debbie

 

We had the first of the fall fogs today. It is early, being barely a week into August, but it has been hot (90ish) for days and today is reputed to be going to stay in the 70s so we have ground fog, hanging low in the creek bottom. It’s a thin fog, barely there, creeping up the hill and dissipating even as I watch in the early, almost-six-thirty-ish, morning, but it is fog all the same. Fog is a harbinger of autumn here, isolating and secluding, cutting my hilltop off from the world, concealing me from the eyes of humankind. However, the light of the sunrise is still the golden light of summer. I can see it on the land out there past the long hulking shadow of my hill. Crowing roosters seem to be chasing the misty, trailing remnants away excepting a thin scree over the strawberry field and a stubborn patch lingering in the roadbed of the side road that takes off from the very secondary road upon which I live.

My somewhat dark mood does not appear to be as easily dispelled. Being snatched from sleep by a ringing phone might have that effect all by itself, but in this case the information imparted was also rather dire. The doctors say my daughter’s ex-sister-in-law is going to lose her fight with breast cancer after an eight year battle which we all thought she’d won at one point. My daughter is very upset and not looking forward to telling her daughter. It is never pleasant to spread the pain around. In most instances an ex-sister-in-law might not engender such consternation, but in this case my daughter divorced the man while retaining the rest of the family. My granddaughter is very close to her “Aunt Debs”(pronounced like ‘dibs’, by a claimant) I am left to consider my mortality and that of all of us ensconced on this hunk of space rock. It is one thing to know that “no one gets out of here alive” and quite another when one is brought up short by the passage of one of their own.

If the doctors are correct Debbie will die in October, ironically national breast cancer month. I may yet accuse her of planning that, but not today. I charge every woman reading this to go and get their screening done this year. I would like to believe (as we all would at times like this) that some higher purpose will be served by her passage. So if you won’t do it for yourself or your family, please, do it for Aunt Debs.

 

 

Pain

When the ache runs through me

and it sizzles down my arm

and it singes my leg

and my head throbs from it all

I wonder

When I can’t find a place on me that isn’t sore

and there is nowhere to hide

and even my teeth hurt

and I wish it would all flow down my leg

and out my foot

earthing itself, like lightening

I wonder

When it becomes too tiresome

and I haven’t slept all night for days

and I consider how much medicine it would take to make it stop

and think about crashing into bridge abutments

and my eyes leak onto my collar

I wonder

WHY?

ME?

but I suppose it has to be somebody

 

What Do You Wish For?

I wish for

everything

and nothing at all

for happiness

and love

for peace

and sometimes for money.

I wish for sunny days

and rainy ones so I don’t have to water the garden.

for good health

and more grandchildren

for time

and trips to the beach

I wish for the things we all want

ordinary wishes

fueled by the plebeian dreams

of my prosaic mind

 

Maiden, Mother, Crone

the young girl sighs

and as she cries

believes utterly that her heart dies

then woman grown

she stands alone

defiantly, her heart she hones

’til her hand quakes

she creaks and aches

and then in truth, her heart does break

 

What Do You Do All Day?

I get up, tea in hand

and go check on life

in my parents house.

Is it progressing?

regressing?

or just stagnating in a recliner?

I go back out

surfeited on Gunsmoke and old movies

and weed-eat or clean the porch

then go back

to my little nest

in a travel trailer

not worthy of living in the house

and make more tea

and try to write

and then go back in

for a dose of news

mixed with Andy Griffith

my mother complains of my father

my father complains about the water bill

my brother flits about

raving and raging

his mental illness so long ago accepted

his behavior seems normal to them

someone competent must live here

but there are days

I regret

having volunteered

 

Depression For the Doctor

Are you depressed?

The dr. asks

and I say yes

and he demands to know why I think so

his tone accusatory

his manner annoyed

insisting I provide proof

of my nebulous feelings of doom

what can I give him?

all of my shed tears, preserved in a bottle?

the lump that clogs my throat?

perhaps the waves of pain that make breathing a chore.

there is nothing for him to see

it is the sort of agony that doesn’t leave a mark.

 

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