I’m Sorry Mother

We walk in a group slowly

I am slightly ahead of the others.

The whir of the bagpipes lilt through the air around me

She loved bagpipes

I continue forward

my vision is blurred, and my feet are weighted

In the distance, I see the tent.

Chairs set in neat rows facing a blue coffin

Blue was her favorite color

As we reach the tent I hesitate and the others pause behind me

“Amazing Grace” continues in the distance

I walk forward and place my hand on the casket

I watch the tears roll off my hand

There is a sense of relief that brings me guilt

Relief that she is no longer tormented

By a mind that betrayed her

I only wanted to save her from the disease

but death was the only way.

I’m sorry mother

I tried my best.

 

The Old Tree

The old tree stands steady against the weather

Its feet planted deep within the soil

Its twisted trunk winding upward

Spewing out leaves through gnarled fingertips that reach heavenward

Small creatures make their homes within its branches

and the old tree wraps around them and keeps them safe

Larger creatures come to him for shelter from the rain

and the old tree spreads his arms over them until it clears

The largest creatures come to him for food

and the old tree bends toward them so they can find nourishment

Humans come to him for shade and peace

and the old tree whispers the secrets of poets in their ears.

The Friendly Polar Bear

Thud, thud, thud.

Why do my paws sound so loud on the snow?

I must move quieter, stealthy. Yeah, stealthy, I can be stealthy.

Thud, thud, thud.

Oh, come on paws.

I see people ahead.

Oh boy!

I can do this, just relax, take a deep breath.

Oops! Made myself yawn.

Wait! why are they screaming?

Oh, the yawn. I wasn’t supposed to show my teeth.

Darn it.

Try again.

Thud, thud, thud.

There’s another person!

I’ll try waving.

(More screaming)

Why…? Oh, shoot. I wasn’t supposed to show my claws.

Thud, thud, thud.

Where did everybody go?

Thud, thud, thud.

I gotta keep trying.

How do dogs get people to take them inside and feed them?

Solitude

The wind presses against the window pane

and white flakes stick creating a kaleidoscope in the sun’s pale rays.

The mug is warm in her hands as she raises it to her mouth.

She smiles as the steam fogs her glasses and her vision becomes blurred.

She takes a sip before returning the pink mug to the table.

She listens.

the whistle of the wind forms silent words and a wolf howls in the distance.

A smile tugs at her mouth once more.

She sits back and tightens the quilt around her as she rocks gently back and forth.

The familiar creak of wood mixes with the wind in perfect harmony.

The smell of her favorite sourdough bread tickles her nose, and she checks the timer.

A few minutes more.

She raises her mug for another sip and the warm liquid spreads through her body,

and it is quickly followed by peace.

An overwhelming calm, quiet, peace.

Some people think her life in the wilderness is lonely,

but she loves it.

She loves,

Solitude.

Madness

The silken layers of her skirts rustled as she paced.

1, 2, 3, 4

and back

1, 2, 3, 4

She leans over the gilded dressing table and counts out loud,

“1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3.”

Where is it? she thought wildly.

Her mind raced.

Where could I have left it?

He will be furious if he counts tonight and finds it missing.

She is pacing again.

1, 2, 3, 4.

1, 2, 3, 4.

She stumbles but steadies herself with the carved wooden post of her bed.

1, 2, 3, 4

1, 2, 3, 4.

She lowers herself to the ground and crawls to look under the bed.

Nothing.

She stands again as her eyes dart wildly across the room.

It must be somewhere.

The panic rises and a bead of sweat rolls down her temple.

Where is it?

She leans over the table once more.

1, 2, 3, 4.

1, 2, 3, 4.

1, 2, 3.

It must be somewhere; she thinks as she spins back toward the bed.

She is pacing again.

1, 2, 3, 4.

1, 2, 3, 4.

He can’t discover it is missing.

What is she going to do?

Her heart beats at a frantic pace when she realizes the sun is beginning to peek around the corner of her curtains.

It is morning.

He will be here soon to count.

“Where is it?!?”

Her frantic scream echoes through the thick mahogany door into the hallway where he stands.

He presses his ear against the door to listen.

Inside he hears her, “1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3.”

Silence.

He waits.

A malevolent grin works its way across his face when he finally hears the blood-curdling scream.

Silence.

He turns to walk back down the hall as he tosses a gemstone into the air.

“4,” he whispers to himself.

The Park Bench

They sat together those two

on the bench, in the park, under the tree.

Contemplating, in comfortable silence.

His arm was relaxed across her shoulder,

he felt the lace scratch against his palm.

Both looking forward, to the future.

They met on that bench in the park

many years before.

Now they sat there together again

breathing in the moment.

She turned to him her gentle eyes twinkling.

He let out a silent laugh

seeing how excited she was.

Always a child at heart

That’s what he loved so much about her.

He nodded to her with a smile,

took a deep breath, stood, and offered his hand to help her rise.

She nearly jumped from the bench and tugged at him to hurry.

He obliged and increased his pace.

They walked together those two

on the path, in the park, to the chapel.

Dear You

You taught me to trust

you taught me to love

you gave me a reason to live

and a reason to hope

You taught me to let go

and to find true happiness

You led me to joy

and a place I felt safe.

You taught me all these things,

But then you taught me pain.

You learned to forget,

but I never did.

The Sunflowers Grow

She waits beneath the old oak

Knitting as she floats in a sea of sunflowers.

They were only seeds once before,

but the sunflowers grow.

She waits.

A round table just noticeable above the green and yellow has been set beside her,

Just the right size for two but too large for only one.

The wheel of once fresh cheddar cheese has turned to mold,

and the rich liquid in the wine glass soured long ago.

She waits.

Her clothes have tattered in the weather,

and the sunflowers grow.

They are watered by her tears

and undisturbed by her sorrow.

Her face has wrinkled, her eyes have dimmed,

and the sunflowers grow.

Still, she waits.

He will not come though she won’t believe

He never looked for her under the great tree.

His sorrow has consumed him and he is gone,

and the sunflowers grow.

Still, she waits.

He never received her letter

but she doesn’t know

and the sunflowers grow.

She thinks he forgot her

and he thinks that too.

He is gone now

and still, she waits,

watching the sunflowers grow.

The Pianist

The forest beckons and I obey

the wind hums through the branches above me.

It bids me to go deeper and I obey

the song of birds muted within the leaves.

The trail is overgrown and lost

and I struggle to move deeper still.

A new song tickles my ear,

I trudge forward wanting to hear more.

The birds and the winds hush straining towards this eerie sound.

I stop to listen.

It begins again, just ahead.

It grows louder until it is all around me.

I cannot determine the way to go

but I want to be closer,

I need to find its source.

I stumble over a branch and fall headlong into the brush.

I recover, brush myself off, and look up.

My swift hand covers my mouth before a gasp can escape.

Before me is an ancient man seated at a dilapidated piano.

He doesn’t notice me.

The music begins again.

It is coming from the piano,

but the man never moves.

I take a few tentative steps forward and reach out to tap his shoulder.

I gasp.

This time I do not stop it.

The pianist falls to the forest floor and turns to dust.

Soon, the music begins again,

and I take my seat at the piano.

Eye of the Beholder

Red tree, pink grass, green sky

Tears of joy, tears of sorrow

Red tree, pink grass, green sky

Gleeful laughter, sadistic laughter

Red tree, pink grass, green sky

A clap of approval, a clap of punishment

Red tree, pink grass, green sky

A smile of happiness, a smile of derision

Red tree, pink grass, green sky

A playful wink, a cunning wink

Red tree, pink grass, green sky

What is real and what is imagination…..

 

1 2 3 4