Belief needed in the moment–
See diamonds, rubies, sapphires,
Gold, treasures to cherish.
Let the mirror reflect
The lies to eyes
In needing desire.
Do not hold them in harsh sun.
To withstand such blazing light.
Gently bury them deep
Beneath the soil
Of a needing heart
And the damp decay
Of foolish wants.
Let the lies take root
Growing into the very soul.
We tell ourselves,
The truth at bay,
As the lies grow
The rot of hopelessness
Into our very souls.
I knew how to dance once. Didn’t have to think about the placement of feet, a way back when the movement of elegance and grace, of heat and passion, of fun and joy was all rhythms I could hear and follow, Reveling in the feel Before a shoulder snapped out of joint, Hanging limp at my side, And I unlearned the lessons of dance, Unlearned all the intricacies Of the Argentine, Unlearned the grace Of the Viennese, Unlearned the joy Of doing double time.
Unlearned everything of dance Until I barely remembered I once knew how to dance.
Then I tried to learn The Texas Two Step And failed and failed and failed Couldn’t feel the steps and glides That looked so easy, so fun And I wondered if I ever had known How to really dance. Maybe once, a long time ago, I could have mastered this, This Texas Two Step dance.
I had not realized That still I wore the black, The widow’s weeds of anger, These five years hence Your death. Until today, When at your grave, I stood and, in finality, Cast them away.
Now, emerging from the black chrysalis Of my anger, Perching upon the vine, I can spread the wings, Waving them, allowing them to dry.
And you, my wife, are not here. Not under this six feet of earth. You have long flown away, Beyond the things we were and were not, Beyond the languages we spoke and wrote To one another yet could not understand, Beyond the desire of ego and want and need, Beyond the hurts and the pains of life and selfishness To where only truth, love, and real atonement Color a spirit and soul in a prism of flames.
And in my freedom from anger and pain, I wear your vine with my own rose, and I am the Monarch with wings ready to fly.
Broken nesting dolls Lie in splinters Emptied of each other. At their core, Among the splinters And dust of months And years, There rests At their center A small letter Of seasons and time And meanings Within a silver ring.
In the cleaning Of brokenness, A small splinter Works under skin To be lost And never found.
For forty years, We walked days through, Asking strangers known, “How are you?”” Without really wanting to know. Our answers in kind, A litany of fines And greats and couldn’t be betters. All the while, Parts are chipped away. Our edges rough Like antique china tea cups. It is thus Life becomes measured out In phrases, And we speak of it In stages and ages Of what is next for us. Told to be grateful for what I have, I never mourned the losing Of what was wanted once Now forgotten, Or regretted, Or never attained In the first place. Until forty years have flipped Through the fingers Like the pages of a dusty book With yellow crinkled pages Written in faded ink, An anthology of years, For each of us.
On this southwest horizon, We meet once again, and We watch sunrise and sunset. Our heads bent toward each other As if in prayer. Our hair a tangle of silver and white In the winds of New Mexico. Only time will tell What comes of this Tangle of loneliness and longing.
Here, under a Ruidoso sky,
You remind me:
An extraordinarily warm spring day
Spent in a field somewhere
In Lancaster County, PA.
Where exactly? Well, now,
I could not really say.
I’d never find it again,
Even after taking the memory
Down off the shelf
And dusting the cobwebs away.
I remember the day in snapshots
Before we trampled, stomped, burned
The drive from Baltimore
In your little black sports car.
The top down. The wind
Running its fingers through
Your copper hair.
The glitter of your crystalline eyes
In the morning sunshine.
The softness of 501 jeans washed
A thousand times.
Your artist’s soul looking for the
Perfect spot, rejecting several
Before perfection found,
A sun-drenched meadow amid
Pine trees. No Amish around, you said.
The care you took with blankets
And picnic basket and, of course,
Your ever-present sketchbook.
Cheeses, bread, fruits, and wine
We ate and drank.
Then, I posed for you,
The first time.
No one was around.
No one could see,
You said and so
You shucked me
Of clothing and
And my long black curls.
You sketched me
And said you wished you
Had your paints.
Copper and black hair
And the sun low
In the sky. We
Packed the basket
And folded the blanket.
Some 40, 41 years ago.
Snapshots of that day.
Why remind me now?
We trampled, stomped, burned our
Youth down. Oh, yes. we could tease
"Here come and sit, where never
serpent hisses, And being set,
I'll smother thee with kisses."
We’d do nothing better in the
Here and the now were we to tangle
Silver and white together.
Lies were told, I know.
For once, I wanted to believe.
Your truth telling services,
I do not need…
And the tangling of silver and white now, just--
The braiding of loneliness and longing
Leaves us soulless.
This is a blog about my life. It's about much more than living with cancer. It's about reading books, cold water swimming, mothering, eating. All that stuff that people who don't have cancer do. If you're looking for my poems you need to go to fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com