FELL SWOOP

 

 

FELL SWOOP

 

Tired at last of myself, 

the way I’ve been for seventy years—

tight and worried, wanting my perfect way—

in a swoop—and was it fell?—I laughed. 

Laughed at the coiled clay vase that wanted 

to be a fish, laughed at the poems 

that wouldn’t be printed in little magazines 

and at my past earnestness 

about the importance of that, laughed 

at my belief that those pants would

make me leggy like the model in the catalogue, 

that this diet or pill or “spiritual practice” 

would fix my — everything. 

And last night I split a bottle of Switchback

with Jean and we laughed at our husbands’ old jokes 

during what would once have been 

a nervous attempt at “dinner party” 

and we made spontaneous 

ice cream sandwiches for dessert 

from crispy brownies and ice cream 

straight from the carton, and I’m still laughing.

Advertisements

ADVENT, 3

ADVENT

     

 

3.

      ~John 2:1-12

 

Between inbreath and outbreath—

you know the place.

 

Water enters grape,

the skin

bursts

and yeast 

blooms.

The servants

see.

It is not the time.

It is the

time.

March Prompt #7: The Chair that was First Owned by my Great-Great Uncle Asa

THE CHAIR THAT WAS FIRST OWNED BY MY GREAT-GREAT UNCLE ASA

March Prompt #7

He wasn’t actually my uncle. He was my cousin’s uncle, on the other side of her family, you see, but we called him uncle because of that chair. It was passed on to my cousin’s Great Aunt Martha (not my great-aunt, just hers) who was his second daughter-in-law, and she passed it on to her son Freddy, who of course was my cousin’s actual uncle. He was the youngest in that family. Johnny, the middle one, married a Brady girl, and we have, at least my husband has, connections to the Bradys since his sister-in-law’s first husband was a Brady, and her oldest daughter. She didn’t marry his brother till he died. My husband’s. brother. Anyway, Freddy—my cousin’s real Uncle Freddy but we all called him that, used to come to Thanksgiving at my Aunt Bet’s. She was my cousin’s mother, Dad’s sister. So he was my uncle’s brother by marriage. He was the oldest.  Never married. No one ever said why, but we have our suspicions. And one Thanksgiving, when he sat down at the table on that rickety old chair—you know how everybody has to haul out all the chairs at Thanksgiving if there’s a big crowd and there was always a big crowd at Aunt Bet’s since she and Dad were two of seven and Uncle John—not the John who married the Brady girl—that was Freddy’s brother—my uncle who was Aunt Bet’s husband had the same name—  was one of four and by then they all had kids, except Uncle Freddy, and she always took in strays besides. People, I mean, but she did take in some cats, too, but mostly they stayed up in the barn except that orange one that everybody called Blink because it was missing an eye. But he sat on that old chair and even though he was pretty skinny it broke under him. Bumped his head on the edge of the table on his way down. We all laughed, and so did he, but he was never the same after. Neither was the chair, so Uncle John threw the chair in the fire and Uncle Freddy had to sit on a stack of apple crates they hauled in from the shed.

March Prompt #0: ALLOWED

ALLOWED

March Prompt #1

No purpose but pleasure:

Tai Chi before breakfast,

coffee’s bitter “Aha!”

Not to clean the air

but because it’s lovely,

the pink cactus flower

above the desk.

Bread is not nutrition.

Wine is not a drug

to make you live long.

It’s not exercise,

the morning walk

with the dog.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HOUSESITTER

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE HOUSESITTER

If the door has blown closed, open it.

You do not need a key.

Feed the birds.

There is seed in the blue jar.

 

Pick the apples, eat the cherries.

Make wine from the grapes.

Do not eat the yellow pears

for they are bitter.

 

The garden is full

of deep green weeds.

Cook them in oil.

They will make you strong.

 

When dew shines on the leaves

go out and wet your feet.

The copper basin holds rainwater

to wash your hair.

 

Milk the goats

at sunrise and sunset.

Drink what you like

and make the cheese.

 

The dogs will kiss

you awake.

The cats will sing

you to sleep.

 

They will tell you

what they wish to eat.

They will tell you

what to dream.

 

At midnight,

the owls will come.

The great gray owl

will speak. Listen.

April prompts #31–poetry month extension

April prompts #31

A Food poem

Janice’s #6

THREE TABLES

You haven’t seen all of Warsaw, but you’ve seen three tables.

~Cousin Gosia

 

Cold Chłodnik (you say “whahd-neek”) green with dill.

And Smacznego. The white linen cloth. Plates

of meat and cheeses, salad of tomato

and greens, mushrooms because it’s the season,

Celinka’s pierożki with more mushrooms.

Thick slices of seeded bread and special rolls

from the bakery at the corner, and butter,

and rose petal jam (say “rose petal jam”).

A basket of paper napkins with red,

white and blue stripes in your honor. Gosia’s

blueberry pierogi. Coka-cola, apple juice

because Dominik will run a marathon,

the narrow glasses of vodka or Jarek’s

soul-cleansing mixture, which surely does.

The salty oscypek made by mountain

people. Pickles, ogórków and mushroom.

You are full. Language, and why did Babcia

Florentia go to Cleveland and why

did Frieda stay and why did the Russians

shoot Rudolf on the front steps of the house

where they were born?  And the puppy plays

on the floor with the children who have been

excused. Two hours and you are really

full. And in comes Jola with her handsome sons

and she has brought a dish of corn and cream

just for you because you do not eat meat,

and a cheesecake and a mazurek filled

with raisins and walnuts and frosted with

chocolate and this is your family and Edek

fills your glass again and na zdrowie.

And you eat.