Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me of You

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Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me Of You

I have a frayed quilt, folded
Age frays fiber like a document shredder frays secrets
It lays limp as a reminder
Of reconciliation
Anchored, the weight of redemption holds it
In place
Like black vinyl held his lines for years
Before Pandora gathered the whole collection in a mysterious cyber place

(You’ve never seen it, you loved quilts, but this one you would not)
The yellow squares are a billion one inch pieces
No one will count-check behind me
The yellow squares scream louder than a caution light
The shade is one off of gauche

But it’s the story that marries peace with threads
Storytellers know
Poets do too
Fraying helps the edginess

I love every square inch
Except the polyester fabric
Which is 100 percent of this masterpiece
Sewn by church ladies
Or a grieving widow or an Appalachian blue haired lady, retired from teaching
An educated guess at best

The giver is whom I love
I wish the quilt were cotton
Breathable
Some days the man-made fiber suffocates
But sentiment makes me hold on helpless
To surrender
Hope

I can’t get away from your dying
Even the everywhere’s I used to go
To hide and grieve
Have the hollow feel
Of bristling poly-fibers

Flammable, like my burning grief
It is early
The flame still burns
But I’ve got a head start
Preparing for good-bye
With the covers pulled up to my hairline

I sang Amazing Grace to you
And then I realized
If you could remember
If you could speak

You would have preferred Bob Dylan

The prophet, the poet, the Nobel Prize receiver
You saw his greatness before the committee

Knocking on heaven’s door
Simple twist of fate
I shall be released
The times they are a-changin
Just like a woman

You Are My Sunshine and Amazing Grace
Let’s pretend they were Dylan’s version

(We needed the words of a poet
We still do)
We both know Dylan could rock

You are my sunshine

 

 

What Do You Say

what do you say dear

 

 

What Do You Say

When
Her lips belong to a mouth
Pursed, silent
Frozen
Inches from a slightly breaking heart

Connected by sinew, muscle and bone

To one single solitary
Pair of  hands
Reaching for a father,
Aching,
with a broken memory
Arms joined by joints and blood
Stretched in love to a broken mind

As a mother

Her hands reach for a leaving
Child
Growing up
Going off
Grasping for adulthood
Straddling her youth

Bound by love
To one who is weary
Worried, tossed
Turning and churning
Yet still, a comforter in times of

Need
I say more

But there is
That pair of ears
Latched on
To words of a young man
Planning to marry
Love launches from the mouth of a man
Steeped in love
Who was just a boy
Digging in deep, rooting his love

It would all be so perfect

If someone would say
To her

Dear, this life is filled
With beautiful broken
Shards
Of life

What would you say
While

Silently wiping her tears

I would say
I love you

 

 

 

Joining sweet Laura at The Wellspring

Memory Is A Lady

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Memory Is A Lady

She is a traitor
Rub the slender bottled neck
With the waist of a teenage girl
And pray she pops out like a genie
Powerful, potent, able to grant wishes
Instant and endless
In three’s
Memories

She is a hoarder
Holding on haughty and hard
To the ones you try desperately to find, to grasp
Was it one kiss or two
Nine months or three
Stingy and stubborn, relentless is she
White-knuckling scraps of time
Scenes from the movie reel of you
And of me
At her mercy
Mercifully begging for more
But she hoards
Memories

She is a temptress
Releasing parts, never wholes
Holding on greedily to finite detail
Showing fuzzy black and white reruns
When you crave HD, 3-D
Accurate truth
Memories whole, not halved
It is your life and you
Demand it back
From the shallow grave
Buried and hidden
Hungry you cry out
Longing for more
Memories

But she is protector and guard she must.

She is creative, witty and wise
She shades the blue teal that you thought grey
You swore it was azure, she insists it was slate
Erases and deletes
That year in New York you were swallowed up
In pain, by fear
Give her permission
She has taken it
Anyway
She decides what to include
And what to completely
Leave out
Then out of the blue
She shows you a scene
A day in the life
You’d dropped like a dime on the street

The timing is perfect
Like a fig picked from the tree
Ready to  savor with honey
And goat cheese
Like loaves and fishes are multiplied
So does she
Find the best days and parts
To amplify, embellish and increase
And release
Memory of you
And of me

She is a lady holding the keys
To the life, the story, the telling again and again

The story of me
Not exact, not perfectly remembered
But just
As she has determined
It should be
She is a lady
Gentle and kind
Not cruel

I must tell myself
Again and again
Lost in my own
Memories
Fading
And dim

++++++++++++++++++++++

Joining Laura and Michelle

The Days The Milkman Came

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Pieces of me come from 1959. They would have to. I picked up the times in which I was born. Birthed and set to grow in soil of the South yet for a time, wandering under the wing of my parents. From Boston to the middle of the US. I have memories of the milk truck, as I walk my dogs around this village. At dusk. Dusty memories appear. I see only the blurry face of him, the milkman, we did not know his name. We, the children, but it came. Mana, all we’d need. These were the days of boundaries of want. It was all right there. There were sweaty glasses of iced tea and warm milk. And clearing one’s plate. And stories of children in Africa in want. And books on the bed after school, shiny and new. And sugar on grapefruit and grapefruit spoons. These were the days of walking to school.

Pieces of me come from watching the man step on the moon. They would have to. I picked up the times in which I was born and raised. Before the sleep-over, piles of giggly girls watching a giant leap for mankind, was it black and white, I stood in puddles of grief. In front of the screen, I know was white and black and a president was buried in plain view on that screen. Camelot, I may not have understood then. I do now. I picked up parts of the me I am from the life and death of then. Of a television showing Vietnam war footage while we tried to swallow our food. War and dinner. For a time. I know it was in color then, the camo and blood.

Later I would gather up the sweet smell of gardenias in June, skinned knees year round, stubbed toes worn as battle scars from play and Sunday’s at The Country Club after church. We sat in the same pew year after year. Politics in the family DNA. There were more than a few eyes on us. Always. They are a box of Crayola’s coloring in the lines of me. These memories. The roses that didn’t quite bloom. Seeing shadows through a louvered bedroom door. And riding horses, the real ones and the pretend.

I will walk my dogs in my new old village home. Where I will pick up memories of me. I am made from scraps of quiet. Pieces of simple. And yards of complex. Reams of contradictions too.  The scent of Noxema and lemon squares. The days of telephones, two lines and election night and slogans for a father’s campaign. A Southern Democrat. Aiming for Congress.

Pieces of me come from 1959. They would have to. I am gathering memories that make me me.  And recalling what came before and after, the days the milkman came. The days when a side porch held so much abundance and hope. The white liquid for dipping Oreo cookies. I didn’t. My father did. My father, a tickle machine. Raucous play and laughter. And multiple Christmas trees. My mother, silver and linens and elbows off the table Mabels. And Tab.  And I am just getting started.

Fifty-five years of shading in the details of me. The days before the poetry. My life could be labeled before poetry and after poetry. But I would rather think about the milkman.