Posts Tagged ‘home



In a room lit by stars, your arms, gentle, insistent, draw me in to nestle against you.
The moon arches its back and the midnight sky
Curls around it to enfold it, pulling it close and holding it there.
A night breeze ruffles and lifts my hair;
Your soft sleeping breath against my shoulder stirs my heart.


grace sufficient

You were always so good at awkwardness.
Always so good at dealing with awkwardness is what I meant to say.
All those little moments-
Forgetting someone’s name
Introducing them by the wrong one
Beginning to tell an anecdote that was never to be shared
To the person who had secretly been gossiped about-
Little moments that get remembered much bigger,
That become bricks added to a wall of misunderstandings
Or planks removed from the sub-floor of a friendship.
You were so very graceful in handling these things
And I could have used your grace, could have used you
Standing beside me at the wake
Greeting the visitors, making them welcome,
Making them feel comfortable, smoothing over the awkwardness.
Because there was so much discomfort, so much awkwardness
With no one knowing what to say to me
About your death, Most of all about the way you died.
Platitudes fought for tongue-space with statements and statistics:
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Most accidents happen at home.
The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house.
Forty-two percent of those who slip in the tub hit their head, slide underwater and drown.
I soaked in the tub at the hotel the day after the service.
I showered at the gym where they hadn’t seen me in six months.
I tried to convince myself no one needs to wash more than once a week
And after all in olden times they did it less often than that and carried flowers.
Now, at last, though here I am, in the sunny yellow room we painted together years ago.
Thermostat turned up high to fight my chills;
Soap positioned just so, in the dish at the far side of the tub;
Cell phone at the ready, on the counter;
A pile of fluffy towels, on the floor at the end where my head will be.
I cross myself one way then the other.
I ask Mary, Joseph and Little Baby Jesus to watch over me.
Put one foot and the other into the water. Grabbing both sides of the tub, I sit down.
I slide a little and the water comes up
But only to my chest. I’m going to be alright
And I can breathe again.

[This poem was inspired by an exercise by Maura Stanton called “The Widow”. The goal is to write in the voice of a woman whose husband has drowned. She hates the water but is forced through circumstances to confront it. I like the poem I wrote as a result. It’s dark but at the same time it isn’t.]


I Wanted To Be Left Alone

All I wanted to do was wrap up in my Snuggie,
Play games on my laptop, maybe eat a little chocolate.
You were going to the store and wanted me to go with
But I have cramps & my back hurts & I really don’t care
If anybody eats again as long as they leave me alone.
You wore me down and I put on decent clothes &
Washed my face & combed my hair & sat down to wait.
I sat on the edge of the couch while you read
sections of the Sunday paper and drank your tea.
Suddenly an internal signal sounded and you stood up.
I stood up too, bouncing off the sofa like a jack-in-the-box.
Now you’re mad all over again.
You say I had bad body language. I need to monitor myself.
I need to be more aware of what my body is saying.
The purpose of language is communication and I know
My body is saying what my words and voice said 40 minutes ago:
I want to be left alone.



Sunshine-sprinkler rainbows
Lawn awash in verdant green
One brown patch stubbornly remains



We are moving the cat’s scratching post from its usual place-
In front of the stereo- to a more discreet spot behind the recliner.
The Kleenex box rests politely in a cubby below the coffee table.
In every room, wastebaskets have been emptied.
The dishwasher was run and unloaded; both sinks shine.
Vacuum tracks break up the regular pattern of the carpet.
Someone has even prevailed upon Dad to pull down his
Worn for a week now T-shirt in order to cover his
Unwashed for two weeks now gut.
(No one was able to convince him the occasion
Calls for actual bathing; it’s not that important.)
Today, we are having company. Semi-invited guests.
Relatives we visit with twice a year are making the hour long trip.
No holiday. They just want catch up in person.
And so we will see them. And they will see us as we want to be seen.