Eggs Goldenrod–Hour 9

That’s what Mom called it

Toasted bread

with the white part of eggs

in creamy white sauce on top

sprinkled with crumbled

yellow

egg yolk

a light supper

on a winter evening

a comforting dish

that seems to exist only in the past

in a house on Benedict Avenue

in White Plains, New York

 

 

One World–Hour 6

The young child strolled with his parents

in the cool of evening

He pointed

I overheard him say

“Hola, luna!”

High school Spanish came to me immediately

I smiled

and looked up, indeed saw the moon

The boy had said, “Hello, moon!”

as any child would

in any language

in any culture

His parents delighted

as any parents

in any language

in any culture

would be

as I was

My heart quickened

I spoke the words for myself

full of first-sight wonder

“Hola, luna!”

“Buenas noches, luna!”

Vignette–Hour 5

The pavement in Jenksville didn’t look like those paintings of Paris in the rain no matter how hard she squinted. In fact they were just tar-sprayed gravel and wouldn’t reflect anything but the echo of her mother oak upended by the tornado. Mabel sat outside the one-room post office under a torn umbrella and hid the wine glass in her knitting bag. She was on her lunch break, but it would be unseemly for a government employee, even a part-timer, to be seen tippling. That big tree. Ormond had proposed to her under its shade in ’71. Now they were both gone. All she could do was stare at the space between her youth and her split nail.

Self-Guided–Hour 4

Does one walk uphill to get to the beach?

I, dimwitted, did indeed

searching for Red Sand Beach at Hana

Up and up on a wooded cinder cone

through tall grasses looking for an elusive trail

past neglected gravestones with Chinese lettering

made of sea-worn basalt

rounded, standing like fat fingers

on the slope

Eventually one comes to the edge

of the forgotten cemetery

where erosion drops teetering headstones

down to the sea

a shoreline littered with fallen monuments

And there it was

the trail

far below

All I needed was to recall gravity

the force that draws gravestones down

and keeps water from flying

and helps hikers to descend to where

beaches can be found

 

Haven’t Seen a Doily in Ages–Hour 2

A doily is a grandma thing

It exists in a house on Linwood Avenue

in Pittsburgh

on the back of a parlor chair

a protective creation upon which to rest a tired head

But that was sixty years ago

it exists now in memory

like the smell of liniment in that house

a smell found in a grandma’s house of that era

but I can’t remember the exact smell

although I know it as liniment

another word out of fashion

 

But the doily was a minor character in the parlor

Grandma sat in that chair

while a thin man in a bowtie worked on her feet

He brought his own tiny stool and tools

sat low and hunched over before her

He cut nails and sanded callouses seriously

head down in concentration

while grandma smiled and laughed

I remember her laugh

and remember thinking

I don’t want a job like that

 

 

 

 

Upon Awakening This Morning–Hour 1

The cat strides in

pawses beside the bed

chirps, announcing his intention of jumping up on the bed

He launches and alights

effortlessly as he is known to do

My hand reaches forward automatically

is surprised by proverbial cats and dogs in his fur

a postcast of the weather

I cover him with a towel

I rub and stroke

He struggles, indignant

but not overly so

for he knows this ritual

and its importance to humans

I move to the window to confirm that the street looks black

shining under streetlight

As if it can’t be true until I say the word

I say to myself

rain

 

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