4.02.2017

dreams and other golden things


a lightning stung tree is the map for april,
broken lines pointing to storming skies.

i want to run away, i say,
and he, who does it all the time,
asks where i would go, which direction calls me, and i get angry.
just away. over there, thataway, around the corner,
up the road, down the road,
through the trees, to the sea, to the desert, to mars or paris or a deserted island.
somewhere else.

klimt would paint me barefoot, walking away.

my open door leads to honeysuckle,
to water in the streets where there should be dancing,
to thunder in the distance, to sudden songs of birds.
perhaps i will lie myself down on the damp edge of spring,
sprinkled into forever with dogwood blossoms
and golden leftovers from this year's pear trees.

i dream of marriage and my mother,
of guarded gates and no way out,
of promises forgotten, of a starless nighttime sky.
the fences are low and i know i will climb.
i know she won't.

i want to run away, i say,
and he, who does it all the time,
asks where i would go, which direction calls me, and i say the one to you.
north northeast,
however long it takes me.
up the road, down the road,
through the trees, over the river, down the railroad tracks.
somewhere with arms to hold me.

i will wait for the train to pass.

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3.19.2017

early spring, late night


peekaboo selfie in the old mirror behind the couch.

a bit of light, the cat nestled near, a book, a coke,
the door open to darkness.

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Spring has come early, in bits and pieces. The flowering trees bloomed against the still bare limbs of the hackberry tree, the catawba, the pecan. Azaleas were quickly pink across the street, Katie's bridal veil blossoms white against the edge of the creek in the back yard. I sat down next to a fat bunch of paperwhites the other week and childhood memories, from out of nowhere, surprised me, sat down next to me, pushed against me, took up room I wasn't expecting to give.

This is where she hid the Easter eggs,  I remembered, all of a sudden back in those days when the Easter Bunny still visited. It wouldn't have been those paperwhites or this neighborhood, but I knew. I knew. I saw the pale yellow of the old house, a house my youngest brother doesn't remember, the bright daylight, the white trim on the windows. The shade of trees, the small front porch. I was there once again.


things come back around.  they never leave you.  people go, your favorite pets go, you move, you grow older, and if you're lucky, you grow old, and if you're lucky lucky, you keep your memories. i'd sat down like a child, legs folded, eye to eye with the coming spring, and there it was, a piece of my childhood.  was it the fading afternoon light that called it, the sound of birds?  the feel of the changing season?  or was it just me, sitting, communing with the flowers?

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I have been long gone from this place. I thought I'd locked the door, but like most places, if you want in bad enough, you'll figure a way. Break a window, find the key you thought was lost. Kick, hit, pound. It will require a wanting. Sometimes it just requires the truth. Yesterday, when someone asked, I told her that truthSometimes I stay silent instead of answering, standing outside the closed door, the found key in my hand, scared to open all the old rooms. Too tired to start over, to sweep away the cobwebs. But she asked and I told her, and I felt the door swing open on a small breeze. It wasn't locked after all.

And here I stand. Once again. Maybe I am back.

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this morning there are dangles of wisteria outside my door.  the redbud trees are full and the sky is solid blue.  the trees have new leaves and the paperwhites have begun to wither. there is a small wind and the day begins warm.  spring will be quick, and then gone.  baseball is just around the corner.  i have the tv on, sound off, as usual, and i am missing katie.  the house is a bigger mess, the kitchen painted and repainted, the perfect color just out of my reach. i may re-tile the floor black and go back to white walls.  i am unsure.  in the meantime, the walls are mostly painted.  i admit, however, that i am quite enchanted with the last white corner behind the refrigerator, and am giving serious thought to letting it stay; the white against the pale blue feels like the sky. it feels like infinity.



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12.21.2016

darkness and light


Mid-November:
I came so close to hitting him, me in the Jeep, him on foot. He was black, the night was black, his clothes were black, the streetlight sputtering into nothing. I stopped at the stop sign and when I turned to my left to check for traffic, there he was, in the middle of the street, standing thisclose to me, stopped right outside my driver's side window, just inches away, staring, surprised. The weak light lit his wrinkles and, no doubt, mine, and I waved him on, my heart skittering off in different directions. He disappeared into the darkness with just a step or three, and it was only much later I wondered if he was real. If he was a ghost. An angel. We'd stared into each other's eyes and each taken a breath, a big one, and I'd said to him through the closed window I didn't see you, and I could see in his eyes he understood and trusted me enough to walk on by. We were the only people on the road and then he was gone.

A shared moment.

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"We'll be drinking margaritas by the sea, mamacita."
                                           ~ Louise / Thelma & Louise

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suddenly i want the big paintings in the house gone. they take up too much light and too much space and the rooms feel toosmalltoocrowdedtoosmooshed. i want less and less and less, except for the small stove that is on its way here. which, in truth, means less in the kitchen, means the tossing of things, the rearranging, re-figuring. means one bowl cakes made from scratch and less store bought. means finding my way back to caring for me.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, which we shared on Wednesday:
the blinds across my glass door are broken and cannot be raised more than a couple of feet from the floor, and i cannot find an affordable replacement online, and certainly nothing in this town. they are opened to stripes of light and getting in and out of the house is an annoyance. i feel enclosed, but it is what it is, and it is fixable, just not today, not this weekend. it explains the no-big-paintings mood, the ache for more sleep. it is a lonely november and the yard is full of leaves, brown, still damp from rain earlier this week.  the air has a bit of chill but the door is open behind those blinds and my feet are bare.

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Sunday, the first day of Advent, is cooler. 
the month is winding down, as am i. i've spoken to one person, for one short conversation, in 4 days. i move the furniture around and cannot get it right. tell myself i need to scrub the kitchen floor, but don't. use candles in the rooms where lightbulbs have gone out. let the laundry pile. i fall asleep early and awaken after midnight. i should be a poem.

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December:
i lost a thursday night in the traffic coming home from the christmas parade, and only found it later when my brother mentioned something about the cowboys and i realized i'd missed the game. the air stayed warm until it didn't, until just a few days ago, when the wind showed up with winter on its breath. it was loud and blustery, and sounded like rain, and i dreamed a big black bunny was sprawled across a bed in my house, his smiling eyes following me around the rooms.

we are almost done, this year and i.

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"I need a holiday, a very long holiday"
                                   ~ Bilbo Baggins

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