The Nursing Home Place Where Life Circles Round And People Cry

The Nursing Home Place Where Life Circles Round and People Cry

It has the word farm in its name making it sound like a rural utopia
Window frames hold mountainscapes in their crosshairs
Norman Rockwell comes to mind until I wake up
She screams like a child in the throes of night terrors
She cannot escape her past
We cannot escape her
We sit in a puddle of her past tears
She is gone but I can touch her

I would leave but the one I love lives here
The food has turned to mush
I remember the jars of baby food
Hers and mine
The circle of life comes to mind
She hated cliche more than I
But show me where the circle may be broken
And I will choose my words more carefully
The rocking and mumbling form the soundtrack of their lives

The hallmark of this place is The Hallmark Chanel
And you can’t measure the height of irony
All the happy endings, screen upon screen
Every love story that was ever written
Punctuated by Walmart commercials crossing the t’s
And January Toyotathon’s dotting the i’s
As every story is neatly sewn up
God get me out of here
For the love of her and all those to her left and right
I simply cannot leave
Weeping is my leaving

I lie when I tell her my tears are happy
She is confused by them
For the love of all that is decent I cannot lie, I cry
(And stretch the truth about the happy tears
There is a co-mingling, of truth and falsehoods)
Right along with the rest of those in the circle
When death stares you square in the face
Even the blue ridged mountains cannot console a grievous soul
Who came to visit
Refused to leave
Refuses to entertain the thought of entering this reality, as if she would have a choice
We can mute the boob tube
But not the continuous coming and going
Of givers of care
And diapers and sippy cups for octogenarians and nonagenarians

We leave with all the passion of a foxhole conversion
Committing to the next visit
Dragging our pain right out the heaving swinging door
Into the chill of the night
Free as a new parolee
Free to love from far away
Free to leave the circle of life and death

Into a world where people cry

 

 

 

 

Right Now: State Of Change

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Right Now

Every shadow punctuates
Dots the landscape of now
With littered limbs of memory
Brought down in the cleansing
Bold strokes of every shade of grey
Written under the swirls of then and right here
Blink, they move

Sub-plot and backstory
Read from back to front
And between all lines

Hieroglyphics and dead languages
Signing with fingers from the sun’s burning
Rays
Written in plain sight

The story requires an interpreter
My eyes behold the pages
Written for today

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Thank you for reading here and at Gracetable.org. I have a post up there and I would be honored and humbled if you would join me there. Do you know this community? Gracetable? It is a favorite place on the internet.  See you at Gracetable where I am happily a contributing writer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

The Backside

 

 

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The Backside

A hundred stories blew right by
Unseen by the naked eye, a hundred and one
If you count the one so wind-soaked, water-logged and beat down
There is nothing left to tell
Shreds of truth washed out to sea
Particles of memory swept up in the counter-current backside of the beast

A hundred years from now

Someone will dredge it up, tell it to a crowd of hungry men, women and children
Hovered on the edge of their seats to know about the day the wind raged
Again
History, a fan of repeating herself

At the hair salon
She said the waiting was the hardest part of all
Tell me your story
I’m beginning to try to listen again

Forgetting doesn’t help remembering
Warnings came from somewhere down the coast, farther south
Watch out for the backside,
The tail end
Every cliche, metaphor
You’ve heard them all
Listen up, for once, to talk of eyes and calm

While we wept for Haiti
I wept over Vascular Dementia, ALS and Cholera, hunger and disease
And Haiti some more
The Shirley May, The Mary Margaret and God’s Grace
They made it through, tethered to a wide and weary oak
Simple solutions mock me

Anticipating, we know too much of what we do not know
Wringing our hands over unknown outcomes
And then the shaming began
For the stayers and the ride-it-outers
Who know the nuances of wind and tide
But are certain of not one thing

The quiet dark of the blind preparation
Is a quiet we never knew

Run a bunch of models
Focus on the European One
Fine lines  wear the well-honed edge of a butcher’s knife
Lord have mercy plays on rewind and repeat
In sharp contrast
The Weather Channel, bless its heart
I thought I’d die if I heard one more warning of how bleak my future looked

When the wind blows
Echoes from my childhood
We are slowly prepared by  nursery rhymes
For what’s ahead

When the wind blew
At hurricane force
I sat on my backside

Resting up
No one named the raging storm in my mother’s brain
After one of the gospel writers

There is still a storm that’s raging
Though not at sea
For me
Waiting is the hardest part