The contented clucks of the neighbor’s chickens mingle with a hundred different bird calls and the scrabble of squirrels playing tag up and down the massive oaks. Under the trees the dappled backyard glows green.
I feel unmoored, unhinged somehow
While others celebrate her going home
I just keep thinking
She might have liked one last smell of lilac,
A little something sweet, one more song to sing.
She was just here, touching the dog’s head,
having some tea, sitting in a restaurant,
saying my name so softly it could barely be heard.
I know she was tired. I know she’s at rest.
Still, I’d like to hold her hand, kiss her cheek another time.
Last night I stepped out the back door
with the dog, last time before bed.
A small plane flew low over the backyard trees just as an ambulance
raced down the road.
Normal noises of suburbia, a businessman circling for a landing at the small airport north, somewhere an accident, heart attack, someone racing to the hospital.
But I thought, was this what it sounds like, the enemy closing in, incursions onto sovereign soil? Would I be racing to the basement, waiting for the blast, fear clutching at my chest, hoping my family were safe? Gratitude for my safe bed, and heartbreak for all those living in terror. 💙💛
Eight souls in this house, five animal and three human,
No end to the noise and the pacing of the Alzheimer’s patient, the music to keep her dying brain occupied, the elderly dog who needs to pee more often than not, the cats who tear through the house after each other.
Today, though, while the sleet came down from gray January skies, they all curled up for naps except me.
Alone on the couch, no sound but the snores from the dog and the whisper of tires on wet roads,
I painted my nails, read for an hour, and sat in the silence that cleansed my brain.
born on this day one hundred
nineteen years ago
Each summer you came
to the farm to visit with
your only daughter
I can still see you
standing at the farmhouse sink
shelling garden peas
And I remember
your black crocheted shawl kept for
cool New York evenings