Monday, January 12, 2015

Therapy Dog, Memory Ward

And the woman is grown so small
her wheelchair looming around her
like a man's boot looms around
a child's foot

And the woman is grown so thin
her bones looming out from her skin
like a novella in Braille looms out from
paper

And the woman is grown so gone
her silence looming around her
like a heavy snow looms around
the pot containing last summer's
pansies

And the dog walks past her
and turns and walks back
and rests his muzzle on her knee
and waits

Friday, January 2, 2015

Three Months to 50

I would like to fill a scroll
Suitably ornamented
Perhaps by monks
With the blessed gifts
I have manifested
In my half century of living
But in all honesty
All I can think of is that I never use
Imply when I mean infer
And I can call a strange cat to me
With a whisper

Night

Screaming, my fists
Raised and clenched
I stand in the doorway
In the dark
And the dog stands up
On the bed
And waits

Not for the first time
No, I've lost count
Of how many times
I've woken up standing here
And turned to reach out
For the dog and 
The rise and fall of his breath

Something happened
That's a given
But don't go lifting
Up rocks
Says Dr. Rx
Knowing the details
Doesn't change a thing

In daylight
I see her point
But in the dark
In the doorway
I want to see the face
Of the enemy
So that I may kill him
And knowing that
I've killed him
Sleep sleep sleep

Thursday, December 11, 2014

That Which I've Learned

Never place your trust
In a man who wears pointy toed shoes
Or a dog whose prick ears go back
In the fear position
When coyotes howl on PBS

Keep several grains of salt
In a little jar in your pocket
For when you go to church
The car dealership
Anywhere near candidates for office

The human heart is a hotel
People check in, people check out
Some will leave a five spot on the pillow
Some will steal the coffee carafe

If you say good morning to a tree
And wait quietly a few moments
You will hear it say The same to you

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Dog Writes Poems About Rain


All of the poems have titles like
Evil Water Falls Promiscuously
From the Sky the Gods Must Be Dead

In the park he stands under a tree
muttering phrases and counting out meter
until I give up and go back to the car
for the glove-compartment umbrella

Your mother's people herded Belgian sheep
I tell him
Even though he rolls his eyes at me because he's
heard this speech before
And your father's fathers were from Labrador
There's no earthly reason why you should
be so Evelyn-Genevieve-Priscilla about rain

Water is for drinking purposes only
He states in the voice of a narrator
of government health crisis videos
And hold that umbrella right
A damp collar one moment is pneumonia the next

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Why I Do Not Pick Up the Phone

It is the multitasking in the voice 
Or the impatience
Or the frustration
Or the words of wise counsel that make good sense and always have made good sense and always will make good sense
If you've got synapses like the Brooklyn Bridge but not a whole hell of a lot 
If all you've got in your head 
Is a rope bridge across a chasm 
In SE Asia

The last time I picked up the phone
Someone quoted Ben Franklin and something they said was Louisa May Alcott or Laura Ingalls Wilder and got irritated when I said it actually was Elizabeth Taylor's mother in National Velvet
have not picked up the phone since

And what would I say if I did
Save me?



Monday, October 20, 2014

This I Believe

 
When a shaft of sunlight
shines down on
the most comfortable
armchair in the house
and the dog has curved
his spine just right
into the space
where the chair back
meets the chair seat
do not shift him
so you can take his place.
Sit on the floor.