I have promised a long walk,
sitting on the shady porch,
dark against the morning sun,
no sound except the chorus of cicadas
humming at the open windows
their late summer rasps.
Reaching for the blue sky hat on the hook
in sun yellow bedroom
decorated in birds
and their songs of August,
I enter a long ago summer room
layered in chenille bedspreads
and feathered pillows.
The scent of fig and over ripe pears
mixes with must of old paperbacks
and Ivory soap. My grandmother’s face powder
and Pampa’s pipe tobacco mingle together
in such a strong sense memory
that I have to sit down.
That long ago room of Waco childhood
spent lazy and loved, surrounded by
a charm of cousins and beautiful aunts
with handsome, laughing uncles in tow.
It has become gilded and foxed by the years,
not quite fact and not quite fiction.
The small dog breaks into the room
ready for his promised walk
and hat in hand,
we slam the screen door,
trailing the scent of figs
and sun ripened pears behind us.
In the beginning was the Word.
And then there was a garden
and a tree
and a fruit
that they say was an apple.
But my bet is on a peach.
Cause who could resist
such a luscious fragrant succulent
Not fair dangling
such enticing beauty
even with a warning label.
Do I dare to eat a peach?”
― T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
it is still July but the season has changed
and rabbits have had their way with my garden
raping and pillaging as they went
a castle over run
and I am left a distressed damsel
after the dragon has lost interest
and flown away
leaving only singed bones
of caladiums and daisies
such is a fairy tale from a summer afternoon
when the air has softened
and summers heat has turned down a notch
and the only dragons in the garden
fly on gossamer wings
schooling thru the soon to be autumn
when I sat in the chair at the salon
to get my hair cut,
my mother sat in the chair with me
and looked at me in the mirror
And I smiled at her.
And as I sat in the pedicure chair
with water swirling around my feet,
she was not there
but her toes were
even though she could never bear
anyone touching her feet.
And I told the pedicurist
how all her grandchildren
have her toes-
And I smiled.
The voices whisper just outside
my ability to understand their words
when spirits would come and sit
in her desk chair or on the counter.
She would ask me who they were
and what they were saying
and I would have to tell her
I don’t know.
But we both knew they were there
even though she was
the only one who could see them.
So are they here to visit me?
Hanging out in the kitchen
or dining room
while I go about my day
doing the dishes and paying bills.
I wonder if there will be a bright light
to reveal them
as guides or tormentors or just
passers-by waiting at a station
for the next train.