An Ode to The Tombstone I Shouldn’t Love The thing that’s likely to kill me One day, isn’t a wayward bus Or a tumor in my cervix or even An anxious suburban wildcat. Voted most likely to kill me Sooner…
In between time allotted for
Cooking and working and eating and sleeping
He stops and drops the
Put out my fire, to drag through
Miles of code for cockroaches
Crawling through the cracks.
In all the free time, stolen from
Retirees and stay-at-home mothers (and
Teachers in the summertime),
Volunteers pour batter into
Cupcake wrappers and scrape
Burnt soup from pot bottoms and
Then before bed, troll Walmart for
Polyblend socks on sale
To cover up rotting black toes.
After everything else is done at the
End of the day, kids gather up a
Minute to scrub crayon onto
Construction paper, launch letters
Across a page, piling the notes
For unknown soldiers and old folks
On the counter next to their
April 7 Poem
How do you like my new boots?
I’ll bet it is quite easy to smell the
Hide shine from your vantage,
Sole pressing into your throat.
I’ve heard you have thoughts.
How interesting. When did that
Start happening? It’s all so
Untidy however. Sweep up.
Tonight we’re having roast.
You know how to do that right?
If you could, as well, mash the
‘Tatoes with the skin on.
Later, after you’ve washed up,
Perhaps we can go for a walk. You can
Carry me, if you wouldn’t mind. I’m so
Exhausted from mattering.
I am jealous. Who would not be? You
Sleep so soundly. I’ve been watching you win at
Slumber, mouth slack and wet.
In darkness seething: I am not you.
April 5 Poem
I have to leave now but
before i go you need to
hear me say: never will
we ever be here again. #loss
return we may to this
cafe to this table to
this conversation, but
not to today or to this
slice of air or to
this sense of ease. so
please hear me say
i have to leave but
before i go i want
to say: stay.
Poem for April 1
Lying flat on the grass,
Crushing the blades
I am a bookmark between
The earth and all that is above.
“You are not looking UP,”
I once read. “Imagine you can
Step out into the stars. All the
Universe is in front of you.”
All the universe — the sun which is a
Star; and greater suns indeed, also stars,
And the moons which are just rocks like
Gravel scattered between the flagstones.
The landscapers moved the daffodils.
“Give them some water. They’ll perk back up.”
Just so with this grass beneath me.
Those ants I laid poison for in the living room: not so lucky.
Sometime this week, the men will come to tear out the yuccas.
The women will carve out the daisies.
A redbud tree waits at the nursery to be adopted;
Legions of utility workers attend my yard with blue and yellow spray.
I lay on the grass
My sprained ankle rests akimbo.
I gaze up and plan a shutter painting party as clouds drift by.
In the nearest slice of sun
The dog drops her head and sighs.
At the bottom of the dresser drawer
Under a twist of bras and
Ankle socks, I found the
Liner she used to protect the wood —
Or was it to protect the clothes? —
I’m not sure. Shouldn’t adults
Really know this now?
But I don’t line my drawers with
Newspaper. I don’t even receive
One anymore. How else have I
Let her down, dropped the ball on
All the better, best and bygone Ways?
Well, no more heat-and-eat Salisbury steak ovals
Floating in gravy are served, so
I’ve achieved that. That and
Lifting her onto the portable toilet when
Her legs became deadweight. And I achieved
Ordering the hospital bed, making
Small talk with the lanky boy-man who
Constructed it in the living room one day,
Then came back a few days later to
Pack it away. The damn chia seeds. Still
Behind the instant oats in Dad’s cupboard!
Why didn’t I toss them out with the
Pile of not-fine-enough-to donate t-shirts?
Ann and I had that flash of certainty,
Sure the old news in the drawer would be
Ancient, with ads for powdered penny soap and
Photos of mustachioed men. Where were you in
1999? She must have been standing right here
At the drawer on Timberline,
Laying out the paper, washing her hands before
Touching the whites, thinking her thoughts
About what’s for dinner and
Is there an afterlife and where exactly is
The Friday card group.
I was far away.
It was the El Nino year, the year
I bought my shirtwaist house, and forgot to water
The coreopsis, and for the last time
Gas was 99 cents a gallon. Then,
fear shaped itself as loneliness,
Not as a leaking bag body that takes 30 days to
Empty, that sloughs off eating,
Then walking, then speech,
And all muscle control
Like peeling skin on a
you want to brave the cold? I can wrap you up
totally: velvet scarf, down parka, mitts,
a rabbit skin hat grandpa stitched himself, and
two pairs of woolen socks. you want to
brave a path into
I’m writing “small stones” as past of Mindful Writing Challenge 2014. If you care to participate, here’s the link. Feel free to read and enjoy more wonderful mindful posts from across the world on Twitter at #smallstone.