Day 145 – Dangerous

If your heart were a piece of crystal torn from your body
I would keep it in my pocket, tuck it under my pillow
I would horde it for myself in Gollum’s cave

If you were a star resting high in the evening sky
I would wish on you, share my hopes with you
I would love you from a safe distance

But you are standing here before me
not a star but just a man
you are still the things you’ve done
and you are loud, you are thunder
you are dangerous

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Day 143 – Ducklings

My ducklings have gone away today I
will not see them again they have
to grow, I have to rest that’s
how it works, that’s how it ends
but I have given
so much
of myself
now I’m not sure
how much is left
except now I know
how much room
there really is now I can
measure the space
they left and
it is bigger than I was
at the start

Day 139 – Grey Hours

Grey hours love me
like dead flowers
untragic reminders
of function and purpose

They are my estate,
my inevitable sickness
and cure;
they are children I bear

They sit and watch,
attached to ceilings and walls,
they whisper
or sometimes they sing
indecipherable words I
wish I could play;
try to teach me things
I wish I could learn

All I’ve learned
is that these things
do happen

There’s nothing
but to wait

Grey hours love me
like dead flowers
forgotten ’til the
next bouquet

Day 132 – Dorothy

Dorothy landed and was dizzy and I
refused to help I finally took
a bus to Atlanta and realized
why not

I was not so great and powerful I
was small and very frightened but
I wished with all
my heart
I wanted to help but I
have no
pow
er
s

I walked along the dogwood trees in bloom she
would’ve loved them I knew my
jig was up she had to go I had
to let her go
she wouldn’t find those
dogwood trees
if she stayed with me

she found Glinda

Glinda has magic

but if Glinda goes I
hope she knows
she never needed magic never
needed anybody never needed
me at all

wish I could help
I always
wished I
could

Day 131 – For Doreen

I forgot to put on sunscreen for the funeral. I didn’t even change out my sneakers for the heels I had packed the night before, so worried about being respectful. I thought those things would matter but death has a way of mocking the little formalities we observe. The dead don’t care what you’re wearing.

But you would’ve reminded me about the sunscreen. The two of us, forever indoors and longing for the beach, our weekends filled with texting screenshots of art projects and Amazon purchases, were so looking forward to the summer we’ve earned. You took your vitamins and your Claritin and paid extra for the UV protection in your sunglasses. I skid in daily on four hours of sleep and haven’t eaten a real vegetable in weeks. Something in the great cosmic milieu tells me there’s something unfair in you being the one who had to go, and me being the one who got to stay. I can’t even remember to put on sunscreen.

Your funeral was filled with the sort of people who would not, and did not, care if I showed up in sneakers. They did not mind that I obviously have the self-preservation instincts of a small child, as evidenced by my beet-red arrival to the memorial. They didn’t judge because you didn’t judge.

You were so well-loved by everyone. It took me by surprise how much I had come to love you, not because of who you are but because of who I am. It may be self-centered to think about it, but I’m not sure I could scrounge up more than a handful of people if my funeral was tomorrow. I burn too many bridges. But you never did; even those who managed to offend you were treated with your signature grace. You left this world with no enemies, and you left it far better than you found it.

So perhaps, in the great cosmic milieu, there’s something fair after all about you being the one who earned that endless summer vacation, and me being the one who has to keep struggling on without you. Where you are you don’t need sunscreen; I’ll try to remember mine from now on.

Day 119 – Honey I Never Knew

Honey I never knew
you were
this big of a fool-
you see,
it isn’t smart to let
somebody else
be in charge
of your livery

Honey I never knew
you were
this big of a fool-
you see,
it isn’t wise to let
your guard be down
around someone
like me

Honey I never knew
you were
this big of a fool
for me-
but now that I know
let’s give it a go-
all kinds of
tomfoolery.