Monday, September 8, 2014



secret voices whispered
into baby ears
crooned cradle songs that
covered the sounds of arguing

took me to places inside
but not inside
thick teutonic forests
sod houses on a green grass sea
striped clowns of black and white
western facing hogans
pulsed by thundering herds
frigid silent limestone convents
leaning in to samoan laughter
the black wolf

voices led me away
saved me from the world
introduced me to my ancient self


my father's voice
well-worn though seldom used
harshed by a thousand marlboro reds
silent as the grave
where he now lies
never gentle
never soothing
in its sobriety
always razor sharp and
barbed to prevent closeness

its exact rhythm and timbre
i no longer remember
but i hear him still
in the rattling clink of ice cubes
in an empty highball glass


undisturbed layers of voiceless dust
settled thick enough to write in
if only i dared
must not disturb the status quo
i will remain silent
i must not tell

let it be
let the sleeping dog lie
but that need
pokes pokes pokes
jabbing memories
like a monkey wielding a stick

but only inside
when they tumble free
entombed memories
choked on childhood’s ashes

barbaric or soft
it sounds
ripped beyond
the veil of voicelesness
a harsh bleat from an impala
caught fast in the jaws of a lion

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Eating Tabbouleh

I cut my hand once making tabbouleh years ago.  I was foolishly holding the lemon in my hand when the knife slipped through the lemon more easily than I had anticipated and cut deep into my palm.  There was that brief moment that it takes for the nerve impulses to get to your brain and back, the one where your eyes tell you the truth before your body, where you have time to wonder why that didn't hurt more.  Then it all catches up.  The cut, the pain, the lemon juice trailing into the gaping skin.  The cut was painful, but it was the exquisite pain of the lemon juice in that open wound that I remember.  

I still cannot eat tabbouleh without closing my fist protectively against that remembered pain.  

That was intended to be the piece of writing for the day, but something in there stuck.  I circled back to the computer thinking it was something that needed oomphing in the text.  But no.  That wasn't it.  I liked the imagery and the poignancy of it as is.  I finally recognized what it was and walked away from the whole thing, only to circle it like a buzzard for another hour or so.  

I have tried to move the blogging bits away from things that feel preachy to me or in anyway I-know-better-than-you voiced.  I most certainly DO NOT know anything of the sort.  When this wouldn't rest, I had to weigh those two things against each other: seeming preachy v just remaining silent.  Somehow I knew that the buzzards would not leave it alone.  

It's not about the tabbouleh (which was delicious btw even though there were bits of me in it).  What it was about was the reflexive protection that remembered pain brings.

Being a caregiver to my mama with AD means we live in the past a lot since that is the place she remembers best.  For her it's a happy place, for me not so much and I find myself curling protectively around those painful memories lest she jab one inadvertently.  The thing is, I don't want to be a closed fist with her.  I want to be an open palm, able to stroke her cheek or draw her into my arms.  Can't do that with fisted hands.  So there is that to think on today.  

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...