Spliced into a motionless reel of cars,
I dream through a dusty window.
A soft green field-
Margined with yellow mustard blossoms-
Reaching towards a chorus of hills.
Life hidden beneath its grassy waving surface.
A cooper’s hawk hovers,
Pumps its wings,
Perches onto a utility pole.
For one moment,
I witness this ancient negotiation,
The field and the hawk;
I am pulled away,
Awed by their silent agreement.
I like the word quagmire.
I can see it:
Looping around the q,
Threading through the u,
Sifting in and out of consonants and vowels,
Savoring its prey.
An inescapable predicament,
A spooling and spiraling swamp,
An unplanned interruption.
Not always welcome, it is an honest word.
M & G’s Burgers’ enticement: milkshakes,
Red and phosphorescent,
Snares my brain.
I pass it, relentlessly,
But this moment, distinct;
Conjures a ghost.
Sitting at Hidenwood Pharmacy’s gleaming counter,
Sharing milkshakes with my mother,
Entranced by jeweled condensation beads-
That meander down the meniscused metal cup,
Reflecting my wonder at all that is held here.
Sitting on Stinson Beach,
Watching seagulls abscond with unguarded picnics,
I am still.
My daughter and I share ear buds,
Listening to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night.
Salted gusts, cool, beg us to burrow into the sunned sand.
Coppertone-perfumed blankets,warm,keep us safe.
Without warning or hesitation, she joins her brother for some soft serve.
I stay behind, narrative paused, guarding the evaporating moment.
Too tired to write today.
Ack. Blech. Ick.
Just a list:
What day is it?
Run to pee.
(70 degrees, luminous-I really should celebrate this, but…).
Look out window-too long.
Text from Charlie: Mom, Look at the moon!
Hi Mom from Nora.
Breathe in moon.
Why I write every day.
I believe in the Dewey Decimal System,
that mysterious code,
that lives in a fathomless drawer,
on fanned, yellowed cards, perfumed and sweet.
That code, written on scraps of paper,
carried through catacombs of shiny bound books,
fingers strumming spines, lips mouthing numbers,
until time stops, and for one small strand, all is deciphered.
Today, I neglected the voices wafting up and down the stairs,
the doors slamming behind some old, brown Converse,
the unsigned permission slip, the readied lunch bag,
the see-you-tonights and have-a-good-days.
Today, Lennie died, and most everyone agreed it was for the best.
George did it to be kind, some said, others said it was selfish.
Only one said it just wasn’t okay to take another’s life, no matter what.
Today, I shared sweet tarts and Starbursts, and coffee,
the messengers of gratitude and taking deep breaths.
Today, I thought about tomorrow before the sun had even pinked the sky.