Palsy

 

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Palsy
(1817 AD)

starts with a twist
a palsied twitch a nod
more movement

slow loss of grip
bottle-tops won’t open
things fall to the floor

twist and twitch
turn into shakes
bad vibes not good

words tripping
on not off tongue
stumbling over teeth

vitality extinguished
a dullness in the eyes
a cork-screw turning in

bland the writing
both erased
chalkboard and page

dry honey tunnels
yellow calcined skull
empty hexagonal cells

this lone bee searching
for a special something
it can no longer find

Help!

 

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Help!

The world turns full circle
and my mother is on the phone.
It’s four AM. “Help me!” she cries,
from the far side of the Atlantic.

Her ship is sinking fast and she’s
nine sheets to the wind.
“I’ll stick my head in the oven,”
she says, “and turn on the gas.”

What can I say? What can I do?
She makes so many threats.
She’s crying “Wolf!” and her words
now bounce off this duck’s back.

Yet still I wake at night to hear
her whispered words, and they still
chill with their razor’s edge of
“Help me! Help! Please help!”’

Lost

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Lost

My body’s house has many rooms and
you, my love, are present in them all.
I see you here and there, glimpse your
shadow in a mirror, and feel your breath
brush on my cheek when I open a door.

Where have you gone? I walk from room
to room, but when I seek, I no longer find,
and when I knock, nothing opens. Afraid,
sometimes, to enter a room, I know you are
in there. I hear your footsteps on the stair.
Sometimes your voice breaks the silence.

It whispers my name in the same old way
I remember … how can it be true, my love,
that you have gone, that you have left me
here alone? I count the hours, the days,
and snatch at sudden straws of hope,
embracing dust motes to find no solace
in the sunbeams, salacious as they are,
that drag me from my occasional dreams.

MiA

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MiA

The things you didn’t see:
the cat, this morning, ginger,
coiled like a spring and ready
to pounce on an unsuspecting junco;
five crows perched on the same
side of the tree, and the tree leaning
over on account of their weight;
the smile on my granddaughter
when we Skyped.

The things you didn’t hear:
the squawk of the bird
as the cat misjudged her jump;
those same five crows cawing,
cracking the day open like
an egg boiled for breakfast;
the joy in my granddaughter’s voice
when she spoke to me: “Hi Moo.”

And you didn’t hear the robin’s shriek
as the hawk’s claws pierced,
nor the tears in my voice
as I called out your name.