What I have learned so far....

What I have learned so far…

How cows make milk.


How dogs became woman's best friend.


How kids tell the truth more often than lies

(We just have to want to hear it).


How families can survive cold nights and empty stomachs

because they have faith in the goodness of life

and the beauty of each other

(and because their mother's taught them how).


How we can live alone or together and still

need to remember to see the apples and not just the orchards.


How becoming a mother is more fraught with more danger

than being a firefighter trapped in a forest fire

how fathers can find grace in scavenged vegetables.


How sometimes looking backwards is more fun

than looking forward, and other times looking backwards

just gives us another chance to try again

(or lets us imagine breathing sultry songs into the microphone

instead of picking up the dirty clothes or paying the bills).


How someone can discover the universe

by picking up a tiny book, one so small it might not be noticed

by anyone else and then the space it took up on the shelf

suddenly expands into light and voice and air

like the equations of time.


How our histories are made from myth as well as

families arguing at the dinner table or laughing out loud

at Granny's funny accent or Auntie's tales of lost love.


How we need to listen to each other

if we ever hope to survive

so we can recite our tales of wonders and lost lovers

and learn something new,

like I imagine two eagles might do looking out at a sun-filled

reservoir on a chilled December morning,

blessing the day.

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Lilacs Lord







I

After months or even lifetimes of doubting the beneficence

of the existence

of Dominus Benedictus

I rejoice this Sunday

feel smell see His goodness

golden green purple blue.


But today I can't comprehend anything Eternal except

death.


If indeed You are good

spawning spring streaming sun soothing souls

please Lord give me one sprig of lilac

from the pastel paradise of this reborning day.


Give me lilac wine potent

drown me

drop the purple curtain over

life's losses injuries injustices betrayals.


Give me lilacs Lord in a hundred crystal vases.


II

Lilacs Lord don't reek of death

like powered hands and polished fingernails

in a shiny mahogany coffin draped with a hundred roses.


Give me lilacs of life soft messages of life

if You love me if You exist

Dominus Benedictus.


Or is this enenchanted springday soft Mayday no more than

a token message of sympathy?


Promise me God

that this day will be an intimation

of promising flowering grace soon to come

and when I am full-bloomed fruit-filled flowing over,


then lilacs Lord place lilacs Lord

only lilacs on my grave.

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Seeking Balance

Bless me father,
I am 45 years old
And it has been 45 days since my last period…

These are my sins:

I drink too much coffee
I cook dinners sans vegetables for the kids
I worry obsessively
I procrastinate on my bills
I curse
    sometimes in front of my children
I get mad too easy
My house is messy
I am lazy

Oh, and I have a boyfriend whom I delight in

Forgive me God


For all this, God, have you put me into early menopause?

Patience thin
Ready to pounce  
Retreating to my covers, my safe place
With laptop, and vino
whilst my children shoot and kill each other on xbox
leave dirty dishes on counter
Want to see no one
Want to break up with my lover

Self-diagnosis of PMDD in June
Premenstrual Dsyphoric Disorder
Sounds scary
Oh…It is
Gynecologist recommends Prozac
Slightly relieved, but more ashamed
to admit
I can’t handle

July now-
been on this shit for a month
Still no period
And now my hair is falling out
WTF?

Going off the drug

Need my hair- more than I need my sanity
Or at least as much

If I am going to go down, I want to look good on the way

Remember this, friends, when you check me into the psych ward

Remember to outfit me sharply on the day of my admittance

No matter what, it is always important to look good
Mom (Avon Lady from the big hair eighties) would back me up on this

Seriously – calling on woman of infinite wisdom

What would you choose?
Would you give up your hair to be less irritable?
I am guessing that I do not have a single friend who would say yes


What is a fair compromise?

Would you joyfully gain 25 pounds to be a better human being?  
I am way to vain for that
I forgot, God, to confess this  Vanity, surely a grave sin


Would you give up your money for inner peace?
Oh Greed- more ungodliness

Finding a balance between pleasure and pain
Maybe this is why I have the PMDD


Half the month… euphoria
Jokes for my students
Peaceful energy in my chakras
Hugs for my boys
Compassion for myself
Adoration for my boyfriend
Create elaborate plans
Check off tasks on my to-do list
Tackle projects
Sing sweet soulful songs


Ovulation- like an ax, strikes
PMDD is back
I drive too fast
Sleep restlessly on couch
Eat chips for dinner
Hold tension in my neck
Hold grudges
Relive old heart breaks

Feel pain too intensely- mine and my children’s
Grind teeth in my sleep
Yell at the kids
Flip my oldest son the middle finger behind his back
I’m sorry God- I know you can see this.  

So … this – this is the balance I am seeking?
Would really prefer less extremes

Especially now
Unfair I say
45 days no period. This is crap
45 days and still waiting

Started the second half of my life on Saturday
45 years old
Not waiting

Ready

Ready to balance out the second half with the first
Sins and all

Bless me father, I will do my best

Oh and please Lord,
                   
                       let me keep my hair.
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Back to School

Lock the door; don’t let anyone in!
Momma left us alone
to care for ourselves, right
after breakfast. She came back
in the afternoon arms loaded
with bags and boxes.

On the four poster, she laid out
treasures: pink and blue flowered
cotton panties and undershirts,
crisp, swishy petticoats,
red and blue plaid gathered skirts,
pleated skirts, jumpers with white blouses,
full-skirted dresses with Peter Pan collars.
All brand new for back to school.

We never chose a dress or shoe
from a store’s racks and stacks.

We never heard the words:
You can’t try that on here, or
Use the colored dressing room.
We never stood in line waiting
while the salesclerk served
tow-headed children and their Mommas
first. We didn’t see the pickets
parading Freedom Now signs
in front of Woolworth’s, didn’t see
the passers-by shove and push and
spit and yell Nigger!

We waited at home excited
for Momma all flushed and breathless
from carrying her downtown load.
We waited at home anxious
fingers crossed that what she chose
was what we wanted.
She left us home
ignorant of the price paid.
Recent comment in this post
Carrie Hirschfield
Powerful and heart wrenching!
Friday, 27 January 2017 20:45
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Pulse

an elegy for Orlando

Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you,

This body, loose, young, the body that swung,

The sweaty shiny comfortable skin, the eyes that flashed,

The legs that jumped. Drink this, drink in the body,

This body, that body that came through the day,

Colliding, brushing with other bodies, this body, moving,

Smooth skin against rough cheek, blue silk dress,

Lipstick on the polo shirt, the shorts of a pixie chick,

The torso of a Latino lifeguard, the hands of a spectacled African man,

This body, that body, whose body shivered, shook,

Arms raised to the heavens, shouting its praise,

This body, that body, pulsed to a beat last night--

What body now lifeless lies on the dark red floor,

Sacrificed with the blood of a new covenant

As broad as the arc of a rainbow

In a crowded club in Orlando, the body mashed

From holes that flash, from hells that erupt from

A morning of night, taste this body, taste that meat, eat

The body of the world, no longer in the world.

-June 12, 2016
Recent Comments
Kate Hymes
A powerful and moving elegy to the Orlando mass killing at Pulse nightclub. Susan expertly uses the language of religious traditio... Read More
Saturday, 18 June 2016 16:41
Colleen Geraghty
Dear Susan, A very moving tribute to all of those who died in that tragic event at the Pulse in Orlando. A powerful and moving ... Read More
Monday, 20 June 2016 22:06
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