I miss you, my muse

alone

There is a place where we can’t meet

Where your face remains unknown

It is a place where silence stands

It is the time when I’m alone

Muses holding my creative reprimands

It is there where I turn from cheek to cheek

Longing for the words you speak

But in this place, organically grown,

Is a haven for me to be completely alone

It is a place that refuses other’s hands

It holds me warmly to meet its demands

It is there, where my rivers peak

Giving me the words I must speak

 

I can’t deny, I can’t erase

The billowing spirit

from your face

Emanating fiercely

From your own within

Reaching through

my waters

forbidden

 

 

Retreated being

I put on my running shoes
only to find they force retreat
Bluntly I discover by accident
The consistent measure of defeat
Savaged from a life’s cloak torn
Returned to earth from whence born
Finding little comfort from the scorn
Stripped of skin a soul’s been shorn
With little shelter from the storm

I share the flight of winter fowl
Bundled up beneath my cowl
Staring gray in noon time glare
Rejection of my humblest prayer
Reduced, returned, retaliated
Longing for my spirit sated
But that dream has dissipated
Was what I dreamed through joy
A beloved story of girl and boy?
Wake me up so I can breathe
Love and laughter, soothing peace

The Blank Canvas

I should be painting right now, but I’m staring at the canvases lined up thinking of you instead. I say I don’t think of you, but I do. It’s usually late at night in the silence of a sleeping house. I just get the feeling that if you were here, things would be better. I mean, I know they wouldn’t be, they’d be the same, but I could talk to you about them. I could ask for your wisdom and you’d laugh at me.

“Wisdom isn’t something that can be taught,” You’d laugh. “It has to be learned. The only thing I could possibly do is guide you away from what I’ve already tried that didn’t work.” Then you’d ruffle my hair. I’d act annoyed but I wouldn’t forget.

I look at the canvas and I think, “AHA! I’ll paint you!” Because you were always so beautiful to me. So real that even my own body sometimes felt alien, unkempt, and unruly as I watched you move with grace even though your shoulders were hunched over and you shuffled your feet. I don’t know how to capture everything you meant to me. I don’t know how to not cry when I remember the jokes you told me, how you cheated at cards, your morning prayers, poker with buttons, or sauerkraut making in the basement with the family.

How can I capture the truth of what it felt like to be with you? What it meant to be the most important person in the world in a room full of people with every one of them feeling the same way. You never excluded anyone from your love. You never turned anyone away who came asking, or just to be near you. You were filled with an unending capacity that I strive to achieve because I admired it so much.

I sit here looking at the colors of paints in messy bottles, well loved paint brushes drying after last nights foray, and I wish, I just wish I could hug you again. I wish you could tell me with your heart that you love me too.I wish I could coax the colors to obey my command regarding you. But they sit as still as a stalked mouse with me the pouncing cat. The brushes feel like hammers in my hands, refusing as well to obey.

I feel you sometimes, particularly in the wee hours of the morning. It’s usually when I pour my first cup of coffee from the still brewing pot. I sit down at my table and I look at the spot where my husband and usually the guests sit. I can see you sitting there with your own cup, smiling at me. Together we take that sip and the hot bitter beauty washes my tongue with scalding hot communion. We exhale and whisper the prayer together. Then, you usually go wherever you go while I talk to my ceiling and look to the sky.

My canvas is still blank. My heart remembers you. And for no particular reason, my wish is that you hear my words, “I love you so very much.”

Terms of Bereavement

That side of my bed is cold as death.

It fills me with such emptiness.

The lingering scent of absence

haunting the corners as if

they had a right to be there anymore.

I stare at the dreams we once

shared together

as they drift like chipped paint

on a breathless breeze from my ceiling.

I lose the fragmented pieces

as they get swept up each Monday

on chore day.

I recognize the longing for the echoed laughter,

the heat of your kiss,

the flesh of our creation sweating drops of love

onto my flesh on a Sunday afternoon.

I remember that night I stayed up

soaking your t-shirt with rejection

that you soothed with caresses of forgiveness.

I roll away from death

even as I reach my hand to grasp the pillow

that no longer smells like you

even though I’ve not changed the fabric case.

I’d hoped that it would imprison the thoughts

that made “we” an

unbreakable, indivisible, apocalyptic force

to be reckoned with in our unity.

I pull the blanket your mother made for you

(on our fourth Christmas wed)

over my head

tasting the salt of my regret

that I didn’t know that was the last.

That side of my bed is coffin cold.

It fills me with such emptiness.

Moving Day

My arms are full of boxes heavy with my heartfelt memories.

I look at the darkened windows that feel like a medical flat line

The front porch light that once greeted my arrival is turned off.

The driveway where my children created Michelangelo is barren

The study window from which I witnessed the drama of “Oak Tree Living”

Looks nakedly back at me without holding the allure it once did.

I turn my back to face a new adventure brought to me by U-Haul.

With teary resolution and no tag-backs, I whisper to the sunrise,

“Goodbye my lovely haven. Good day my place of rest.

Whomever crosses your threshold, may they be ever blessed.”