Posts Tagged ‘water


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.]


Summer Book Dive

Chill of the library floor rose to meet her grateful soles.
(The broken flip flop and its mate now slung in the bag on her back.)
Sunlight and fluorescent light filtered through the stacks-
Playing shadows on her face- as she padded among them.
Distracted by a random idea, she lost her footing;
Plunged headfirst into a pool of deep thought
And was gone.


I Am Everywhere (For Larry)

Last night I ate a fish.
I am in the sky I am in the sea
A few more days another fish’ll eat me.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.
As the fish passed through my body
He took some of my cells
If a birdy eat the fish
He’ll be eating me as well.
I am here and I am riding on the ocean swells.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.

Don’t keep my chickens in a cage.
I am in the sky I am in the sea
Let them look for food on the open range
I am in the sky I am in the sea
They want no other chickens
Mixed into their feed
They want to dig in grass
To find the bugs and seed.
All the creatures should live free.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.

Motor oil comes down as rain
I am in the sky I am in the sea
Someone poured it in the sewer drain
I am in the sky I am in the sea
When the oil goes in the ocean
It comes out in the sink;
We use it to make coffee, to take a bath and drink.
Water should be clean not black like ink.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.
I am in the sky I am in the sea.


Come Back To Me

Come back to me
My Strauch Petite drum carder
My Georges Bracque inspired wool
My Fiddle Faddle
My Blue Agave energy drink
My Screaming Yellow Zonkers
My life is empty without you

Come back to me
My Method Green Tea hand wash
My Garnier Fructis Fortifying shampoo
My grape “Finding Nemo” toothpaste
My bottle of Diet Coke with lime
My honor roll certificate of achievement
My life is empty without you

Where did you go
Linguistics of American Sign Language
Oregon license plate that reads “ANNA”
Poster that says “Don’t Quit”
Bottle of Refreshe purified drinking water?

Where are you now
Papermate Pink Pearl eraser
“Shadow of the Thin Man” videotape
Jack London’s “Call of the Wild”?

Come back to me
Come back to me
From wherever you have gone
My life is so empty
Without you