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Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tiny butterlies flap their wings
high up in my chest, in the back
of my throat, sending sparks up each
side of my neck, prickling my scalp.
They spread into my chest, growing
into sparrows or wrens stealing
the space where I breathe, filling the
hole where my heart was with chaos.
I breathe long and slow to settle
the havoc, but to no avail.
The pounding penetrates to my
back where an eagle spreads his wings
bruising my rib cage, clawing my
wounds, pecking at my pain.
A hurricane, the energy
breaches my diaphram and roils
my gut, leaving me heaving with
nausea, tingling with thorny sweat
gasping for air.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Here we are, my dogs Honey and Belle and I, females all. Mr. Palmer, our Betta fish, though male, is childless because of his ill temper.
My son is a father, but he is not here, trapped as he is in the bonds of schizoaffective disorder.* He is 600 miles away in a personal care home, where he exists with the assistance of mental health professionals and pharmaceuticals.
His daughter is not fatherless, adopted years ago by her stepfather. She has a daddy, and I thank God for that.
Clint was a father, had four children with his first wife, but as we all know, he died last year just days short of Father’s Day.
Me? My daddy died when I was six, so I’m accustomed to this day when people celebrate what I have never known. I do have this photo of him during World War Two. Handsome, with sweet eyes.
I guess I can count the father bird whose nest of babies just flew away. Every year, a pair of wrens nest in an old floor lamp in the garage, preventing me from giving it to Goodwill.
No, we are not complaining. We, the two dogs and the fish and I, are escaping the 106º heat index outside by holing up in my room, ceiling fan creating a small breeze for us, watching the U S Open golf tournament and being happy for all the fathers and sons and daughters we see there.
*schizo-affective (also schizoaffective)
adjective (of a person or a mental condition) characterized by symptoms of both schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
I promised myself I would not write anything today until my house was clean! Hah! What a gratuitous lie that was!
To begin, it is as hot as the hinges of hell here is Macon, Georgia, and even the air conditioner cannot stay ahead of 95º with a heat index of 104º. (By 3:00, it will be 98º)!
Here, in my little air conditioned house, I have cleaned my bathroom and the guest bath. Period. Sweat is dripping down my cheeks and my sports top is glued to my torso, feeling like a wet bathing suit. Yes, I do remember wearing one of those, but not lately. To make matters worse, I’m wearing a back brace that my 14 year old doctor says I should wear when I work around the house.
The copper fountain has lost its splash, needs to be cleaned, the water merely draining from one leaf to the the other with no more than a faint hum. Water evaporates quickly in this heat.
Both of my dogs are lethargic with crabby expressions on their faces. They know that their walk will have to wait until 8:00 tonight...........
...................Back from cleaning the fountain. I couldn’t contain myself. Once I wrote it down, it became real and I was so ashamed of my neglect of it that I had to do something. Guilt is a great motivator.
My room is scary. I can only see a few little spots on the top of my dresser, so strewn it is with stacks of old journals, new journals, my iPod, notes to myself, - some written weeks ago - my new vocabulary lists. There are several of them because when I add a new word, I frequently am unable to find the last list. There are stacks of books, one of them on the verge of causing an avalanche of sorts, framed photos, a head band and two clips, my coffee cup from this morning, and the tiny brass lamp Kristy gave me one time. Last week, cheat that I am, I moved everything around a little and dusted with one of those Swiffer things that goes 365º.
My bedside table, oh, shit, my bedside table. I have to leave the tubes of medicine there or I will forget my dogs’ maladies. Honey has an eye thing, and Belle has an ear thing. I can’t put my lip balm in the drawer or I will forget to use it before I go to bed. Ditto the nail stuff. Mine are little stubs. I need the CD remote so I can turn on my relaxation music when I turn out the light. Pictures of Clint and Addie, well, there is no room for negotiation there. They stay. And I dust them off every day. Mr. Palmer, my betta fish, lives on my beside table. He’s the only thing in the house that looks at all cool. I guess I’ll take the dirty glass and empty Gatorade bottle to the kitchen. The trash can in here is overflowing.
Never mind the chair in my room, just never mind.
God, I hate this sweat. For the uninitiated, here in the Deep South, the humidity invades our homes, even with the air conditioner cranking out air that is supposed to keep us cool. Someone once told me that an AC can only effectively cool a home more than 20º below the outside temperature. I believe it to be true.
I’m going to tackle my dresser, then take a cold shower and lie naked beneath the ceiling fan that hangs over my bed......or maybe I’ll clean the den first.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
So we had Clint for three more days - at home where he wanted to be. In turns, we lay with him, whispered our love in his ear, even napped with him. That's Kristy in the photo with him. Until noon on Monday, he knew all of us, and we guarded our secret that he was here and dying. None of us wanted to waste one minute of our time with him to answer the door and take a casserole from a well-meaning friend or neighbor. None of us could eat, anyway.
On Monday morning, when his breathing became laced with rattles, none of the others could bear the noise. But I stayed with him, and until noon, he answered me every time I said, “Iove you,” with his stock reply, “I love my darling.” After that, he would open his eyes when I spoke, but as the afternoon wore on, he stopped even that, and I knew he was safe in a coma, away from his pain.
This is one of my poems I wrote only a few weeks ago, but this is where it should be.
I grow a shell armor
against your pending death
steel myself for the blow.
And then you get too tired
to live and we dress you
in your soft sweater
and I drop moprhine under
your tongue to give you peace
and let you go.
I lay my head on your
chest, cashmere soothing my
tear stained face and listen
as your heartbeat fades &
you breathe the breath that
is your last.
Now I’m a turtle on
my back feet fighting the
air flailing to upright
tears & wondering how
I got here.
I rock hard, roll back and
forth struggle to right my-
self and crawl after you.
I fall deep in the dark
grope in the ink-black place
for your touch - one more touch
allow myself to sink
dreading the time I will
paddle to the surface
to find you gone.
I have a long way to go.