true story

a man died.
a man I never met
though heard about through the family vine.

their love song, something from a dime store novel,
but true.

true love, love at first sight, love that changes things
and they were devoted for five years.
she, his great love

and now he is dead
of a sudden illness
or maybe an old deep sickness that he would have rather
kept hidden
for a decade or two longer.

I am sad for them both
but glad to know their love story
burning bright in the retelling,
enough, I hope,
to keep her warm.

fig and over-ripe pears

close up photo of bunch of pears

Photo by Marta Dzedyshko on Pexels.com

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.

“Do I dare to eat a peach?”

Peaches

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
temptation?
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

dragons on a summers day

Dragonfly garden 5-18-14

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
air

at the salon

Today
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-
Rose toes.

And I smiled.

just waiting for a train

The voices whisper just outside
my ability to understand their words
just like
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.

a grace of cedars

January Bluebird

Take my hand
lets walk the soft path
under the old cedar trees

They are sacred, these mages, these venerable timbers,
hallowed by the desert mothers
and tiny finches dancing in their boughs
and pale angels who sing with them at dawn.

Ancient and holy, they accept your shallow breathing
and extend their grace to you
in emanation, ripe with incense.

Breathe deeply this exhalation, this glory,
as these solstice trees inhale your breath.
An offering, an honor, an acceptance,
a giving and a receiving
until your blood flows
with a resinous scent
purified by the synchronicity of spirit,
a grace of cedars.

dove