Here it is! Woohoo!
Here it is! Woohoo!
My siblings text each other,
A net to catch and diffuse the grief.
Three years ago? Is that all?
Is that a long time, or a short time?
I can’t tell.
When I first started this blog, all of my poems were about you.
Now I have moved on to lesser things.
But once in a while
The wound reopens, raw to the air.
I swore to learn to cry.
I’ve gotten better.
But this winter and the holidays
They make me think of you
a dull inner ache
and I keep smiling.
The difference is
I write, too.
You wouldn’t want us to hurt.
You wouldn’t want any pain for us.
You did all you could to spare us.
We were happy.
We are happy.
But life isn’t just smiles, is it?
Sometimes life is scraped fingers
Bruised knees, twisted ankles
High fevers and learning to stand up for yourself.
You knew this too.
This time of year I wear your long jacket.
It keeps my legs warm.
It’s very dignified.
I still see you wearing it
Helping you over the curb with your walker
to the Chinese restaurant
for Orange Chicken. Always Orange Chicken.
Orange Chicken for life.
The waitress took it kindly
When you told her you loved her
And gave her a hug.
She could tell something was wrong.
I smiled at her discomfiture
And apologized with my eyes
But deep down
I wanted to be you right then.
This chocolate shake is for you.
Happy birthday mom.
You always had friends, she says
But it makes me sad.
People love her.
Why doesn’t she have friends?
It’s not, as she attributes it, extroversion
Introverts make friends all the time.
I think it has more to do with forgiveness.
She can’t forgive a slight
imagined or otherwise.
When you imagine the best of people
You’re usually right.
When you imagine the worst of people
You’re usually right.
I can’t change her outlook.
I can’t teach her to forgive.
But if she can learn to forgive herself
She might learn to forgive others.
If she can learn to forgive others
She might be able to keep a friend.
Making friends is easy.
Keeping friends is hard.
I’ve won countless friends.
I have lost more friends than I’ve ever kept.
Some of them
For whatever reason
Maybe they’re capable of forgiving my countless unconscious cruelties
My rough treatment
Maybe they consider what I can give
to be worth what I take.
Maybe they’re able to accept my forgiveness
for the things they think they’ve done.
My friendships have been tried.
So many times
I don’t know what happened
but I lose them anyway.
I follow them until I realize
They’re not looking back at me.
This too, I must forgive.
For how I must have hurt them
Though I don’t know what it was.
Maybe no one did anything wrong.
Maybe it’s just nature
People come and go
Friendships rise and fall
with the changing tides.
Maybe I need more flexibility.
This is why I consider a friendship that sticks
Has bonded us together
I refuse to let fall by the wayside.
Fight, drama, damage, conflict in values
I never considered myself loyal.
Loyalty always implied to me
That I would take their side no matter what.
That’s not what I do.
I consider rights and wrongs
According to my own ethics.
I try to make peace
Between them and their enemies
it’s the forgiveness thing again.
But I do love them no matter what.
Maybe that’s what loyalty really is.
Look at how good I make myself sound.
Somewhere in here is a lie
Somewhere in here is denial
That’s what it is to be human
We tell stories
We tell lies
even to ourselves.
I am not seeing something.
Maybe by love I am enacting hate,
My loyalty is fickleness,
My ethics are cold,
And my forgiveness is judgment.
I got into painting briefly, about four or five years ago. It was educational. I have many sub-par paintings in my closet to show for it.
This one’s not too bad though, probably because it’s mostly in black and white. Also because it’s a reproduction of a famous photo. I always do a better job when I’m stealing another’s work!
To the steadfast
The ones who give and give
With whom I never have to pretend
Whom I need never fear
To the ones who brighten when they see me
Laugh at my bad jokes
Appreciate what I am
The ones with whom
I am safe
The ones who are
So easy to love
Thank you is not enough
But it’s all I have.
You are my shelter
In a windblown world.