WHITE VIOLETS

. . . it begins with your family,
but soon it comes round to your soul.
~Leonard Cohen

My family thinks I can handle anything,
and I have given them
little reason to doubt.
Take the dog’s incontinence,
the special diets of the cats.
Take my husband’s cancer.

Or take my mother’s
phone company (please)
with their dreadful
music and earnest
voices explaining
how important is my call.

I can’t find my good winter hat,
or the silver pickle fork,
or the pen I bought last week.
The freezer inventory is inaccurate,
and there are no filing categories
for half the papers on my desk.
Nobody makes plain white hankies,
or blue jeans that come up to my waist.

Have things always been this way?
Or is the wildness of the world
catching me up at last?
Even the gods have morphed
into an undisciplined squadron,
and knotty roots of violets
have overtaken a bed of flowers
that just two summers ago
was all under control.

wrote this in 2009, and I’m still digging up the violets 

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