The Glory of the Sun

For the prompt, Glory, Mid-week Motif on Poets United.

The Glory of the Sun
“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering…The sunlight was a benediction.” Dan Simmons, Drood

My mother lay in her bed
slowly murmurming.
She was now in a skilled nursing
facility after being taken care of
at home by me.
But Alzheimers, seizures, weakened heart, failing kidneys caused the doctor
to recommend the care in a skilled nursing facility.
Visiting every day, pushing her
around the facility in a wheelchair,  taking her
to meals and special events.
One day she had a severe seizure
and she became non-verbal and bedridden.
One morning she quietly died.
I looked at her peaceful face
reflecting the glory
of the early June sun
streaming in from the window
by her bed.

mama on deck

my mother on her deck in Florida 10 years before her death

Canicular Days


Canicular Days

“If you cannot hold me in your arms, then hold my memory in high regard. And if I cannot be in your life, then at least let me live in your heart.” – ― Ranata Suzuki

in these canicular days
it is too hot to think deeply.
so I sit on my back porch and think
shallow thoughts while sipping iced tea
with a squirt of lemon.
what do they call a pet owner
who has lost a pet,
its bones slowly returning to earth,
buried in the back yard with a stone
at its head “Fluffy”.
there are widows and widowers.
What do you call a person who
has lost a child?
how do you fill that hole
in the pocket of their heart?
what do you call a person
who has lost a lover and
cannot tell a soul?

Grief

Grief
“…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kabil Gibran

It has been a long day –
a day of grief.
I wonder –
do our dead pets care where they are buried?
do they care that we don’t bury them under
the rose bush where they spent their days?
do they care that we don’t bury them
under the free stars in the field
where they ran daily?
do they care that we don’t bury
them by the oceans or in the forests,
or scatter their ashes in the garden
or keep their ashes in an urn?
I have pondered these questions today,
as we lay my mother-in-law’s faithful dog
to rest by the creek he loved to splash in,
does he care?

The Angel

The Angel
“In heaven an angel is nobody in particular. George Bernard Show

the angel looks as confused as I.
it’s been looking over this cemetery
for years.  and all it sees are the same dead
put into holes – and covered with dirt
that doesn’t grow any flowers or grass.
tacky silk flowers adorn each grave,
faded in the sun and blown by the wind
to another grave or across the road.
It ponders the people planted in this garden –
a garden that produces no fruit
or vegetables, no flowers or trees.
in rain or sun,
snow or heat.
it just looks and ponders
and continues to look confused.

used by permission of Susie Clevenger

The Kitchen is Empty

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.

The Kitchen is Empty
‘I’m never a reliable narrator, unbiased or objective.” “I have a tattoo on my arm, that says, in ancient Greek, ‘I am certain of nothing.’ I think that’s a good operating principle.” Anthony Bourdain

the boy at the beach has traveled to places
we could not imagine.
the stars no longer follow his parents
as they drive through the night to their home
from the Jersey shore he so dearly loved.
The kitchen is empty –
his great story telling voice like
dark chocolate ganache is silent.
his narrow face no longer wrinkles with laughter
or sorrow nor do his eyes peer out to the end
of the horizon, seeing things only
he could see.
The kitchen is empty –
the knives lying in their coffin drawers,
stories are silent –
no longer being told with
understanding and humor,
with sorrow and truth.
the kitchen is empty.
the kitchen is empty.

Anniversary

For my Wednesday Muse prompt at Sunday Muse Blogspot. The topic today is “anniversary”. There are all kinds of anniversaries: wedding, enagagement, the death of a loved one, adoption of a child or pet, buying a house…one for every day of the year and to spare.

Anniversary
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.” Anthony Bourdain

the days run fast
as a shooting star,
dropping through the blackness
of time.
You put the noose around your neck
and jumped –
falling through the blackness
of time.
I watched my mother dying,
her light dimming as a star
falling in the black ocean.
I remember these times
with tears in my brain.
I remember these times as I remember
the scent of faded gardenias
turning brown in the summer sun.

Haibun: Gifts

a haibun is a Japanese form based on prose and poetry. It is a true accounting of an event in your life. This one is brief in the manner of Basho, the “inventor” of haibun. It is closed with a seasonal haiku. This haibun is less than 100 words.  Haibun are not fiction.

Haibun: Gifts

“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.” Amit Ray

Years ago, my mother gave me the gift of life – she gave birth to me. All through my life, she gifted me with self-discipline, toys, love, hugs, appreciation of me – she taught me to be grateful for all gifts and when possible, to share gifts with others. Every day she gave me gifts – even when she was lying non-verbal in a bed, dying slowly with Alzheimer’s. One day she died. She gave me the gift of grief and pain. On a beautiful day in June, she ceased to breathe.
June sunshine –
flowers blooming outside –
my mother dying inside

my mother on her deck

 

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