Hour 17 Apartment Living

Hour 17          Apartment Living     Mary Pecaut

 

My disgruntled neighbor lives under 

the stairs. He might as well be 

a basilisk ready to kill 

with a single glare.

 

Or maybe he’s a sea serpent

eager for war

his scaly-skin like a kraken

from maritime lore.

 

I want to be a friendly tenant

and figure we should meet.

So, I bring him a plate of papayes

Not knowing what a monster will eat.

 

Hour 16 Forced Childbirth Mary Pecaut

Hour 16    Forced Childbirth   Mary Pecaut

 

Forced Childbirth

 

Fifty years of precedent

tossed to the wind    women

left to the whim

of the states. 

Not legal history no.

Fundamental constitutional 

rights denied. A woman’s body

now the courts decide.

Oh, for ease, Alito please

leave us alone with our ovaries.

What has changed today?

Hour 15 – Clarity Mary Pecaut

Hour Fifteen  –   Clarity      Mary Pecaut

Inspired by

Photo by Filipp Romanovski on Unsplash

 

Clarity

 

Late autumn leaves thin

as lace reveal what might

otherwise be concealed.

Veins branching and rebranching

like city roads carry loads

of water and sugar through

xylem and phloem cells.

 

The leaf is able to be leaf.

Fully itself.

 

The hummingbird is content 

as itself.

 

The path is the path

in conversation with its surroundings.

 

You too can be yourself.

 

Hour Fourteen Sleepless Nights Mary Pecaut

Hour Fourteen –          Sleepless Nights          Mary Pecaut

 

Every night before bed,

My mom and I snuggled and read

fairytales from other lands.

The lessons learned

I didn’t immediately

understand.

 

I couldn’t sleep

when Jack and Jill 

tumbled down the hill

or even less when Hansel and Gretel

were lost in the woods only to be enslaved by a witch

in a gingerbread house who popped them in the oven.

Such were the ways of Grimm tales of my childhood.

 

At 62, the stories are clear, the world is a tale of child

abandonment, attempted cannibalism, enslavement and murder.

And Little Red Riding Hood who skipped through the forest –

her basket full of muffins, a fine treat for beloved Grandma

only to find her grandmother eaten by a wolf –

One can only conclude to be wary of predators who

want to take the most valuable things in life away

to feed their own selfish reasons.

Be careful of those disguised as someone we love.

 

And what the F–k was Goldilocks doing in the Three Bears Home?

It was never about ‘getting things just right’. For God’s sake, 

respect the privacy of others! Rest assured, If the Bears owned 

guns, it would have been

a very different story.

 

I dreamed that I might be Scheherazade

famed storyteller of The One Thousand and One Nights 

who taught me to tell a story well 

just might save your life.

Hour Thirteen – Life Is Mary Pecaut

Hour Thirteen  –  Life is     Mary Pecaut

 

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.   John Lennon

 

No judgment

Neither good nor bad – life happens.

Like when my niece, Fatima was 17 and diagnosed

with Severe Aplastic Anemia. 

Her bone marrow stopped producing blood cells.

No red cells, no white cells, no platelets.

There was no treatment in Mauritania.

Her home, a geographical death sentence.

 

We traveled the world in search of a cure.

Her first passport, first time on an airplane –

The woman seated next to her 

touched the bald man’s head in front

in order to perform ablutions?

First prayer in the skies.

 

In Tunis, another bone marrow biopsy.

I bribed armed guards at the blood hospital

for packets of liquid gold to transfuse.

Cradling platelet packets, I rocked and sang

Gratitude prayers for donors we’d never meet.

I added your name to the four year wait list 

for a stem cell transplant. Of course – Libyans had fled 

their war.   We rocked platelet packets and sang

gratitude prayers for donors we would never know.

Could your brother be a match?

 

In Malaysia, ATG shock and awe – 

An attempt to zap her body into production.

It didn’t work but she embraced the

Muslim nurses’ fashion – colorful Head scarves with pins. 

Fatima wrote her first English words in mashed potatoes

on the hospital tray,  ‘thank you’.

 

Vietnam platelets were the best – lasted the longest. 

She mastered chopsticks, designed modest clothes,

sewed and learned to bow and say, ‘Xin chao’.

 

By the time she reached the NIH, in the US

she was a transfusion pro

The world had kept her alive.

Her brother was the match!

The medical team, cleaning staff

proposed ‘‘Songs of the Day’ for her intensive

care stay.   The transplant recovery kids 

from Childrens’ Inn danced the halls at night, 

as she shuffled, her partner the IV pole. 

 

A three year odyssey of healing

Fatima experienced a lifetime of learning.

 

Hour Twelve – A Biafran Prayer Mary Pecaut

Hour Twelve –   A Biafran Prayer    Mary Pecaut

 

In a circle we gather next to the Qua Iboe River.

Our sandaled feet stand firm 

upon Akwa Ibom soil. Swaddled 

in colorful cloth, the Paramount 

Chief pours libations 

inviting Annang ancestors and all 

that is Sacred to soften the ground 

of our being, carve out a space within us

where a Holy presence may abide.

 

Like fishing nets hand-knotted

not handled with proper care 

our entanglement is of our own making.

Untie the tangled ropes of destiny

that bind us. Repair the net. Mend the ties. Release 

others from the entanglement of past mistakes.

 

All that is gathered is made whole again.

Hour Eleven A Sunday Evening in 1970 Mary Pecaut

Hour Eleven –   A Sunday Evening in 1970    Mary Pecaut

 

We lay on the gold shag carpet

in our living room like a jigsaw 

puzzle. Mother is lying on her back

next to the piano. Sister rests her head 

upon my mother’s belly. And I, in turn, lie

down pillowing my head upon

my sister’s tummy.  Brother follows suit, plopping

his head upon my stomach. 

It doesn’t take much.

Mother starts it all –

‘Ha.   

ha ha ha.  

Ha ha ha ha ha.  

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. 

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA!

Hour Ten – Magpie Mary Pecaut

Hour Ten –    MAGPIE                 Mary Pecaut

 

I’m the bringer of all that sparkles,

harbinger of luck – good or bad 

you decide.

 

My cackle is a siren’s call

A matriarchal cry

Save Our Mother Gaia

 

My metallic green and purple sheen

gleam glossy 

yet all is not 

what it seems.

 

Rising waters engulf 

the earth, the future 

is grim.  Here we are –

                              Out on a limb

9th Hour – Against Isolation Mary Pecaut

HOUR NINE    –  Against Isolation                  Mary Pecaut

Ekphrastic poem based on Photo by Dylan Shaw   unsplash

 

Against Isolation

 

Just because the sky is 

blue Is not enough.

It is not enough the peach 

on the horizon nor the carefree streak 

of clouds stitched half-hazardly.

It is not nearly enough 

when you are enveloped 

in a treeless mountain tract

of Arctic tundra.

So unwelcome is the cold.

Invite raw beauty

to be your stilted home.

Lift it well above the ice.

Criss cross tracks in the snow

no matter if they come or go

as if to decry I’m here or

Here, am I.