A Moment

A shad fly drags its shadow along the picnic table, fades into a knot
in the wood.
Faint morning breezes fasten wings, whisper memory to stilled
antennae. My heart skips, my legs twitch.

The pen travels the page
to the end.

The Risks of Remembrance

Death is nosing around, sliding in and out
of dreams, perched on the edge of wakefulness.
Turning to the obituary page and half composing
my own. Buying a do-it-yourself will kit,
a grave site so they won’t have to bother,
and a membership in the local hospice association.
Tidying up. A little insurance for who knows what end.

Now, I can go back behind what I think I know.
Excavate life’s long fact-fiction dance in images that speak of
quelled rebellions, forbidden pleasures and other
buried herstories cracking through now — that consume
survival in the fear arising from the pain of unaware
ripped open. Can I inhabit the risks of remembrance?
Find out what I have forgotten in order to continue this far?

As long as I can still hear waves curling in on themselves,
see the sun glinting on whitecaps tossing the spray
that fills the wind, stirs my hair and enlivens
my skin; watch leaf shadows dance on the grass in gardens
as my warmed bare feet wriggle and stretch to both worlds.
More visceral than language, speechlessness collides
with wanting to tell you.

Fall Cleaning

Tidying closets
unwanted, worn out
once delighted in

Going through files
out of date, passed by, one-time

Getting down to the bare bones,
my mouth hurts, my
body aches
in every muscle, bone and cell.

Fall back
inside the bare bones to

the soft, shrinking marrow.

After Hours

Up and down the street only
porch lights on
seems everyone’s in bed. Asleep?
Not me. I wander, tuned to night’s
rustles and creaks,
familiar furnishings casting strange
shadows in shifting spaces,
time out of night-time

From the windows, deserted pavements,
pools of light
overhead defining long grey
stretches. A lone car illumines
misty swirls of dark, a brisk walker,
hands in pockets,
to the streetcar stop

to an early shift? An urgent call?
Leaving a lover’s bed?
Not mine.
Burrowing into covers
thrown over a heating pad,
only a hot mug of tea
warms these hands.