most times

spring ridge 2

I don’t believe in ghosts
though sometimes I wish I did-
to see her face and maybe sit for a while together.

Yes, I would be willing to believe
just to hold her hand again
and laugh through my tears.

Grief leaves stains-
a little like sweet tea
on an old linen cloth-
most times
its hardly noticeable.

a stone is made smooth

A stone is made smooth
with the least bit of pressure,
a constant and maybe thoughtless rubbing
between thumb and forefinger.
As tarnish from a piece of old silver,
maybe your grandmother’s knife made bright,
Or the wind’s insistence against snowcapped mountains
Or water-made canyons
Of deep hollows, fern filled and green,
Hiding the shy deer and red fox den.

I keep that pressure steady-
Rubbing the memories deep into my skin.
Tattooing the years tears on the lines of my face
Until I see your eyes
Look into mine
From the bathroom mirror
Rubbed clean.

board up the rooms and lock the doors

Autumn sky

Those rooms were never mine,
built especially for her,
they are now larger
and more empty
with her absence filling the space.

I understand the impulse
that would cause someone to board up rooms,
lock doors,
leaving whatever ghosts living there
to rest in peace
with dust and memories.

I can no longer stay in her rooms,
the memories are too thick
and they leave no space
to breathe.

postage paid

Cedar Wax Wing

I am writing to you
from this side of life,
though I know your answer will only be
in birdsong
or the autumn breeze
in the cedar boughs.

Longing for word
in faded ink,
written in your strong hand
or a picture postcard
from the other side-
‘Wish you were here.’

I await your reply

Going thru your desk, I find
the note you wrote
on the day I was born
and I know the longed for missive
has arrived.

postage paid

Easy in the Going

She waits
for the word to come down
her train is leaving soon –
ticket purchased
and held tightly
in her beautiful hands.

(parchment pale hands,
thin and strong,
that once held such powerful music.
And in all the keys,
she played our lives
so that we were formed
by the sound of her heart)

She waits for the bells to toll
and for the band to start –
she is easy in the going
and longing
for the gentle rocking of the rails.

… My mother caught her train yesterday morning and arrived in heaven as the angel band played a loving welcome. She was easy in the going and for that we are eternally grateful.

lovely in her diminishment

Crescent Moon and Venus 8-2012

Waning crescent moon,
dark hued
and lovely in her diminishment,
cradles in upturned arms
the shadow of her fullness.
The dark roundness
heavy against the setting bow,
fills the void
of what once was abundance
and will be again.
Her ebbing light,
soon to darkness and rest
in a starry landscape,
until her rebirth,
the silver sliver loveliness of the
waxing crescent moon.

*** This poem was written several years ago. Now taking on a different meaning for me.

He insists on barking…

Feb morning

He insists on barking at the angels-
Their feathers rustling as they perch along the walls of the hall and her room-
Watching as the communion of saints beat a path to her door.
He is alert to the folding of wings as they settle
Unhurried
As death.

She told me that this life
Is hard to let go of.
Knowledge deep now,
As the blood and bone she created in me.
The body,
The heart
Wants to continue beating, breathing-
Though the spirit is chomping at the bit
To go home.

So they come and visit-
Those who have returned to hold her hand along the way.
I almost feel that I should be the good hostess
As these venerable women were,
And bake a pound cake,
Offer sweet tea and lemonade.

They pass the time, laughing,
Talking of hunting trips
And rabbits loose in the yard.
Friends and relations gathered for her coronation,
As the small dog barks
At the heavenly host.