Enjoy every pleasure bestowed by life, great and small.
I never figured out
how to get along with
my mother, and now
despite my intentions,
I fear I travel that same
road with my child.
People tell me she is
just on a journey and
will return. But lately,
I catch glimpses:
my dead mother
grinning at me in
the rear view mirror,
her arms reaching
around the seat to
pinch my guts
She oncehad an incredible memory – but like the rest of her body and soul, it was slipping into a puddly mess near her feet. The upside of this unpleasant turn of events was that – unburdened by recollection – she could no longer hold grudges for very long.
He moved close, he pulled me tightly to him.
He wanted me to know I had done a good job.
And then he wanted to know, could he kiss me for it?
He was not holding a weapon.
He asked for permission.
We were standing in the office hallway.
Another man asked to accompany me back to the hotel after work.
It was late, a foreign city, so I agreed.
He demanded a kiss – “it’s what the Europeans do.”
He didn’t have a gun to my head.
Security guards were posted nearby.
We were in the busy well-lit hotel lobby.
And still, I didn’t feel I could say no.
Instead, I thought: I need a new job.
Instead, I thought: my fault.
She was always among the last to find out about anything new or hip.
For a long time, she blamed it on her geographic location – middle of the country sort of thing. But as she got older, moved around, traveled, had children – there was really no excuse – not age, not proximity, nothing. She just wasn’t that interested in being at the leading edge of things. She preferred to be the end in trend.
Today she walked around feeling she has so far lived a life deferred.
Not even interrupted, like the title of that movie or book or painting, depending on your artistic bent – just a bunch of delayed gratification – and for long stretches of time, minus even the gratification part.
When would she give herself permission to be really alive ?
She knew her own weather patterns well now but still lived in hopes of the unexpected, the aberrant, to lift her spirits above the dull ache of every day – perhaps a crispy warm fall afternoon would be enough to break the steady rain in her heart.