Monday, November 30, 2015

Best Thanksgiving

We have missed Thanksgiving with our son for a long time. It was time. Long past time. It was the best Thanksgiving ever.

We stayed in a hotel
That felt wrong
From the beginning.
No details here.
The dinner at the pricey restaurant
Had no turkey
On the menu,
Nothing with cranberries
The portions were small.
We left hungry.
We laughed at the bill.
The next day
We ate like kings and queens,
Sat at the bar
And watched the son
And brother
In his element.
Black Friday
Was not Black.
It offered a spectrum
Of white light
Every color
Of the rainbow
And then some.
It was the best Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 29, 2015


None of us had ever had a persimmon, so we bought one.

The taste of the persimmon
Was sweet.
It dried out
The backs of all my teeth.
We each described it in different ways.
I am not interested
In eating another one
Or over-ripe.
My teeth still
Feel it
One day later.
The sweetness
Has gone.


I am learning to change my punctuation, putting semi-colons where I once put periods. Life is so much more interesting with semi-colons. I am considering a semi-colon tattoo. I know this is a reflection in itself, and may have little to do with what follows. So be it.

Some people
Are exactly on time
For everything.
I am learning
To be less exact,
More gracious,
More understanding.
Here I am.
Here you are.
We are all
Never really exact at all,
Even if we pretend
We are.
Here I am.
Here you are.
Exactness is a figment
Even if we almost always
Arrive on time.

Goodbye exactitude.
Hello approximation.

Here I am.
Here you are.
Not a bad way
To start a new year.
Not a bad way
To begin.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Not Black Friday

This is a perfect trip. Perfect because of the company.  Family.  Minneapolis is home turf for me. It's the combination of family and memories. Yes.

This is not at all
Black Friday.
In fact
I think
It’s a lovely maroon.
We all had lunch
The son is off to work.
The daughter will go
To the art museum.
Perhaps my beloved will go
With her.
I am staying
In the hotel room,
Maybe reading a book.
We will eat dinner
At seven,
Get a good night’s sleep,
Leave in the morning.
Not a Black Friday
At all,
More like maroon
Or maybe even teal.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving morning

Breakfast in the motel in Milwaukee before we pick up the daughter. Thank goodness the woman with little cigars disappears outside before coming back in to comment on every item on GMA. Time to go.

The air is filled
With Good Morning America
A woman with little cigars.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Thanksgiving plans changed piece by piece. I think I like this.

My sister is in a tiny house
Outside of Santa Fe.
My brother
Is in Vietnam
Having drawn the right number
Years ago
My sister-in-law
Is in Vietnam
With him
Playing dress-up,
Taking pictures.
My beloved and I will drive north
To Milwaukee
To pick up the daughter
At midnight,
Leave in the morning
To drive north again
To Minneapolis
To find the son
Eat turkey.
Who knows what else
Will transpire.
Everything changed
Over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And so the sandhill cranes

Signs of winter. Some here. Some to come.

And so the sandhill cranes
Appear again,
Signal the true end
Of fall
More than the snow.
They are late this year
Their calls
(my beloved heard them first)
Their calls
A joyous sound.
The first snow melts.
The backyard birds
Find the seed
Around the crabapple.
Soon the duck lady
In red
Or blue
May appear.
My beloved saw fox tracks
In the snow
You can tell
He said
Because they walk
In a line.

Monday, November 23, 2015

More kitten

Got to get back into writing. 
Thanksgiving plans have changed. We are driving north to find the son, picking up the daughter on the way, This will be good. Very good. We may even bring leftovers home to the cats.

The kitten has a tail
Bigger than the rest of her,
A black stripe
Down her nose,
A chirp which serves
A constant reminder
She is there
For leftovers.
The kitten
Loves the bran sludge
In the bottom
Of the cereal bowl,
And anything round
She can pick up and carry
Bottle caps,
Milk rings.
She adores shredding napkins
And leaving them
By the side of the bed
For us to find.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hotel room dream

Funny things, these dreams.

In the hotel room
I dream of the kitten.
I dream of taking tests
In which I score 61
Though normal
Is 68.
The test-giver laughs
When I tell her
That’s not good enough.
But look!
She says
That same test says
You have absolutely no risk
Of a heart attack.
I wonder how this can be.
She says
These tests can’t lie.
I wake up.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Arriving early

I am learning new ways to navigate things like Convention.  Arriving early and establishing a nest is a new thing for me. It feels pretty good.

I arrived so early
The lobby was empty;
I reveled in the silence,
The sheer space
Before the fullness
Tonight I establish a nest
To return to
From the fullness
When the respite
Calls me.
Then and only after that
I will return
To the fullness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Earth shoes

Still seeking the magical cure for everything.

A while back,
Long ago now,
It seemed everything
Could be cured
With Earth Shoes.
Not able to stand upright?
Earth Shoes.
Earth Shoes.
Forgot to eat breakfast?
Earth Shoes.
Didn’t get enough sleep?
Earth Shoes.
Not enough water?
Earth Shoes.
I still seek the equivalent
Of Earth Shoes
That magical way
Of keeping feet
Flat on the floor
Earth Shoes
The cure for everything.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We do what we can do

It's newly dark. I am figuring what needs to more, no less. I do what I can do, as we all must. Hugs are wonderful things.

We do what we can do:
No more
No less.
Today requires
One cup of coffee:
No more
No less.
Today requires
The right amount
Of engagement:
No more
No less,
The hearing of jokes
Silly yet serious;
The hugs
Just because hugs
Connect us
In unworded ways.
Here we are
Doing what we can do.
The same things
Yet somehow different
No more
No less
Present as much as possible
With enough left over
For tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

No guarantee

I have one more daily pill to take. And no guarantee, absolutely no guarantee, I will not have another unforeseen seizure. Still... I will do what I can. I will find the humor where I can. I will enjoy the people who work in the neurologist's office. I will give thanks for what I know, and I will give thanks for those who care for me when I do not know, for those who tell me what happened in my absence.

There’s no guarantee
Of course there’s no guarantee
Still… this might help…still.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Not tempered

Change comes hard, even when it's written on the calendar.

I am still not tempered
To the evening sky
An hour earlier
Than it should be
Dark and darker
I wait for the hour
To slip back
Where it once was.
I know I am not in charge
Of time
This time or really
Any time.
I keep hoping
For different things
To come to pass.
I do not want to wait.
I am not tempered
To this particular darkness.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


For my dear friend, Laurie Michaels, she who groks. My beloved says this is one of the only good things about Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land... the term "grok." Thank you, Laurie.

At every point in life
It is vital
To find those
Who have experienced
Something similar.
At every point
In life
We must sit
With a warm cup of something,
Share the similar thing
And say
That thing is not the sum total
Of our being.
There is always more
To be claimed.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bright wonder

I think I will be processing this for a long while. Now comes the news from the state that I can not drive. Of course I can not drive. I do not remember what happened five minutes after I left home. I lost at least three hours a week ago Monday. Thankfully no one was hurt. Of course I can not drive.

It is possible to leave home
With no inkling
You will find yourself
In an emergency room
Sometime later,
God has been in charge
All along.
It is possible
To leave home
Find out
Your brain malfunctioned
While driving
And a whole community of people
Gathered around
And even continue
To gather around.
God pulls threads,
Reweaves and patches holes,
Adds a person here
And a person there
And even
Bright wonder
That everything continues on
In such unimagined ways.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


'Nuff said.

Is a clever fellow,
Always weaving our lives
Or pulling a thread
So we notice the ones
Left in place.
God is
Oh so clever
Of course.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Usual dizziness

I woke with a familiar dizziness, not the awful aftermath of multiple seizures which hung on for a week. This is my new normal.

I woke with the usual dizziness
Overjoyed with the regular feeling,
By what I have come to expect
As normal.
The weeklong aftermath
Expired with the morning light.
I knew it was
A different day.
I will still
Not be able to drive.
But here I am
One week out.
I make plans
For this:
A new normal
Shaken into place
While I still slept.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mostly grateful

Today my beloved explains my seizures to the folk I work with. The time has come. For this very private person, I am not looking forward to it. Still... I am mostly grateful.

In the midst of this life
My friends respond
As I know they will
My family comes in swinging
As I know they will.
In the midst
Of this life
There are always those
Who can be counted on
For an atta girl
For a prayer
For a cup of coffee.
Dare I say
There are also those
Who have never been there
In times like these.
Still I have learned
To give them the opportunity,
Then move on
From there.
In the midst of this life
I am grateful.
Mostly grateful.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Today the list is small

Today I hang out with the cats in the sun. I am grateful for both.

Today the list is small:
Write this,
Whatever this is.
Take the morning pills.
Eat breakfast.
Drink coffee
From the sunflower mug.
Watch the kitten.
Consider the sun.
Consider it again.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

One needful thing

Wow. One needful thing at a time. I did not write yesterday. Today I did.

This morning
There is one needful thing.
I will write.
The words themselves
Do not matter.
I notice I forgot my pills again
Last night.
Two needful things.
Oh and maybe three
If I think hard enough
Remember the pills
Notice the golden morning light
The kitten sliding across
The dining room table
Me curled up
In the soft blue blanket,
That blanket given to me the first Christmas
After seizure number one.
This morning
Only one
Maybe two
Perhaps three
Needful things.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I imagine

Wow. Prayers requested for grace and equanimity as I learn new ways of being after Monday's seizure experience.

I imagine this
Is what death might be like
Suddenly waking up
In a new place
Only really
It has a familiar ring
Like I’ve been here before
The kitten asleep
Next to my chair
The person on the other end
Of the phone,
He has waited
She has waited
For me
To answer
Time to come home
Time to be home
I imagine this
Is all rehearsal
For the real thing
I figure I will know it
When I see it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I write this so maybe I will believe it eventually.

One small step still leads
To the very next one
Even when I can’t see

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

No plans

The entire day was a distraction. And here I am... today. Now I am really back in no driving mode,

I do not know
Where yesterday went
Except the details
Have flown
To parts unknown
I remember many kind voices
But not the ambulance
Not the emergency room
I don’t even remember
Being driven home.
Here I am
Awake in the blue chair
With no plans
For the day
Tomorrow is a cipher
As well.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Gold leaves

More steps in gold leaves.

I wake and wonder
What next steps
I shall take,
What next steps
I shall put off
For now.
I know
They will come later.
I am on the road
To Oz.
Gold leaves
Cover the front walk.
My companions are often
I am on the road
To Somewhere.
Gold leaves
Blanket the front walk
And yes
The back yard
As well.
Which door
Shall I use?
My companions offer
Different possibilities.
They search
For brains
For courage
For heart.
Gold leaves show us
The way.
All of us
Search for Home.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Time is an abstract concept

I woke up philosophical. Now off to church.

Here I am
In the blue chair.
The clocks all tell
Different times.
Some we changed
Some change automatically
Some may never change
At all.
After all,
Is an abstract concept.
It depends on which clock
Numbers the hours
Numbers the days,
Which ones we believe,
Which ones we don’t.