Monday, July 29, 2013

A Blessing on David Pond

I wake early and at once
to the still, small Voice 
urging me to, 
"Go to the water."
"Must I?" I ask.
"Yes, you must," it answers.
"Yes now please, and hurry."

I fumble quickly into clothes
stumble fuzzily down the path
rubbing from my eyes 
the remnants of bright and vivid 
dreams, wondering
what all the fuss is about, 

I climb carefully into the shadowy canoe,
put oar to dark water, the plish of it
the only sound moving me slowly
away from shore,
just a woman in a canoe
on a quiet lake in the early morning,
just obeying the Voice even though
I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

From behind me, from the north,
comes the sound of a bird - I think
it is a plain old duck even though only loons
live here - and as it flies high above me
I hear the bellows of its lungs as if at a forge,
their wheezy sound like a squeeze toy, 
fanning hard the flames of its wings
and when it turns and comes back 

its flight path is directly over my canoe and
with a sudden and endless wave of sound it is 
calling and calling and calling, hooting its
forlorn cry without pause 
in its other-worldly voice
and I am riveted in my seat,
enveloped in a dome of sound, wrapped
in a music that stuns me 
into stillness and silence,
into tears and goosebumps,
a music that 
washes over me 
like a blessing. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Conversation with an 18 Year Old, Or, The Perils of Going to Sleep at 9:30pm When You're a Single Mom


Conversation with my 18 year old son, whose room has a full bed and a twin in it (but not for long):

Me: Hey, so who stayed in your room last night?

Matt:  Um, my room?

Me: Yeah, I heard a girl coughing in the middle of the night. 

Matt:  Oh, yeah, um, Meagan-and-I-rod.

Me:  Meagan and IRod? What, are they homeless? 

Matt:  Nah, they both have homes, they just needed a place they can be together.

Me:  You let a couple sleep in your room? Isn’t that awkward? 

Matt:  Nah, it was fine.  Like I said, they just wanna hang together. It’s not like they were in the way or anything.

Me:  In the way? That's nice they wanna be together, but this isn’t the place for that, Matt. I’m not running a youth hostel, you know, nobody’s paying me to rent rooms.

Matt:  Blah blah blah, stuff he said I didn’t catch, mostly hemming and hawing.

Me: No, seriously kid, I’m done with taking in strays. 

Matt:  They’re not strays, Ma, they just wanted to hang.  And they made me breakfast and everything.  They left a box of pancake mix and syrup for us. Wasn’t that nice of them?

Me:  Huh.  Pancakes. Nobody made me breakfast, and I can’t even eat pancakes. Pancakes? I’m paying the bills here and I didn’t get any breakfast. (Here I laugh).  God, how am I ever going to have a boyfriend with all this weird shit going on in my place?  [Definition of weird: Strays and quasi-homeless young people crashing in my apartment on a fairly regular basis.]

Matt, looking at me all squinty-eyed:  Mom, are you serious?  You are a cool-ass woman, and any man that’s gonna hang with you will have to be pretty cool, too, all chill and stuff.  This stuff won’t rattle him. He’ll be laid back, don’t worry about it, it’ll be no big deal. 

Me:  Yep, he will have to be pretty cool, Matt, that’s true, but regardless of how cool I am, or how "chill" he is, this can’t go on anymore. I'm not that chill.  God [and here I wave my hands around], I do have standards, you know, and this just ain’t meeting ‘em.  So, no more strays. 

Matt: Ma, they’re not strays.

Me:  Whatever. Enough already.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

On Attachment

Like a fish 
with a hook in its mouth
I thrash around internally
wanting to lose the metallic tug 
of that twisted awful hook and
I am thrumming
with a certain fierceness
and an unmistakable longing 
to be absolutely free 
and unencumbered

and I try to let go of the memory
of the sweet darling angle
of the light through the water
as I swam unencumbered
by the pull of my own
and yet here I am,

despite my endless attempts
to be non-attached,
attached to the longing 
to be unhooked
to be moving freely
to be doing something other
anything other
somewhere other

than this.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weather Report

Like an old woman 
whose world has narrowed
I've begun to report 
on the daily weather
in my morning pages:
this day sunny
this day cloudy
as if these changing facts
have some influence over
what I am about to write. 

Sometimes they do.