Monthly Archives: June 2016

le claire [street]

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A clear glimpse
A clear thought
on this clear June night

Of age,
and Alzheimer’s
An old-timer’s disease

A clear memory recorded and archived tonight
An acute awareness of myself
tonight, in time and place
a new track to play on loop for a listener in my future life

a husband, friend, or son
a caregiver, a kind one
a visitor, volunteer, or nurse,
a grandson, or maybe, no one

A reddish dog, eating mulberries
from the sidewalk in shadows
Mottled concrete in the dim light of a city street lamp
obscured by the canopy of that beautiful, June, fruit tree

A woman, middle aged, seems so young, even a tad pretty, in her mind’s eye
Stretching her still strong body upward for plump, dark berries
Reaching for branches trimmed too high by the urban foresters
or arborists or surgeons, I forget what they’re called

On her tippy toes
grabbing, pulling, picking
squeezing the dog’s leash between her thighs
don’t get loose in the dark, don’t get skunked in the dark

Some of the best ones are lost in the awkward tussle
before she can palm them, save them, taste them
She triggers a reverberative rain from boughs on high
That precise, delicate sweetness of the bounty in her mouth

The dog’s belly full of the ripe windfall
sustained by both gravity and woman
His name was Woody, or Digby, I think
He used to climb into our sleep

Smashed and whole
The street, sidewalk and cars stained
by the impressive purple mess
the dark grass hiding perfect treasures for doves tomorrow morn

She and that dog
Always urban foragers and gleaners in June
All month long, her fingertips, heels and lips
tinted with their fuchsia dye, didn’t think to check his paws

A clear, melancholy recollection
This day, that day was also her son’s birthday
The first birthday he spent away from home, Nebraska, or Alaska, I think
That glorious tree, that good dog, that golden boy

 

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Famêlée

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This feels like an arrow
Made from a tree
That rose from
An acorn
That I gathered and stored
In another life

Scribed with a message continually
piercing my heart

I wasn’t only wounded though,
I was woke
into a clarity
that I was already sighting in my dreams,
writing – with words
mortal and eternal

You once said, proclaimed or whispered
Every single thing
That I ever believed
My own truths embarrassed in the shadow of your confidence
My inner voice silenced in your animated persuasion
Believing you so completely – for the better of my years
Becoming like and unlike you because of it,
but not be-coming me,
Un-be-coming me every day

I ain’t even mad
You don’t know this – still,
You don’t want
to hear,
or listen
Our time is running out
Even this admission
Is sure to haunt me one day,
and guilts me today

But I can’t call you confidant or crone
If you refuse to learn,
to evolve,
From this one archetype

The wide and long view
seems to escape you
You live in the moment in the least way, the worst way
And I don’t worship here or there, any more
The faith in your godliness is gone,
It is unfamiliar
For me to pity you
You, deaf and tone deaf

You had all the answers
In the morning shallows, perhaps
But evaporation revealed even those
Were anchor-less, yet stationary
An algae
Mucking up the colorless perfection of sunlit water

But in the deep, or dark, or quiet pools, you were always so lost
And in the ocean, at night
You drown even in its calm
You have ridden civil swells and storms,
I’ll give you that
But have you ever communed with waves
Allowing them to be part of you
Swallowing and absorbing the mystery
Becoming the colorless perfection of dark water

You seem to stay parched
Your belly’s hollow from impious fasting and pious thirst
You do know that’s where your heart sits?

But let’s agree to come around again, friend
We’ll swap places and next time
I’ll be the mother,
and the son,
and the husband,
and the elder,
and the babe,
and the foreign one,
I’ll become The Other One
because,
I want the chance to know
You