Note to world #9191

She was so excited about going to the city for the day and

She was so nervous about getting a mammogram that

She accidentally arrived 30 minutes early to the train station

Located 5 minutes from her house

Except the station clock said she was only 17 minutes early and the

Woman selling coffee had no idea of the train schedule at all

Which seemed kind of interesting and liberating

note to world #2222

that moment,
the last intimate touch of a dear friend
maybe just a brush of fingertips on your arm,
gentle joyful words shared across miles –
and then the sensation, a part of
your soul slipping away somewhere
a muffled cry of loss and anguish
swelling in your heart


I kept staring at the art,

scratchy joyful chickens

on the light walls of a trendy

hipster ‘farm to table’ living area

/maybe restaurant with toys,

fluffy pillow & old books – all

while I was trying to pick out

my breakfast order. It

looked familiar but out of

context – until I saw the flyer

identifying the artist and it made sense.

a man from  the city who had run an organic

burger joint before that was a “thing”

and who had put his happy airy art

on the walls of his grungy hole-in-the-wall

in a bleak downtown setting.

before, his art had seemed misplaced

to me, joy shouting among the leftover pain of 9/11,

and while now and here it belonged

it didn’t fit my memories that

spun to make sense of the

spackled hens hanging in warm

light over my eggs and toast.

note to world #4323

i have this midlife crisis fueled fantasy that i’m going to wake up soon and start to live an entirely different life of less than… give up job and house – everything that comes after these two grand acts is very vague and yet somehow super appealing to me: someone who plans out her dinners 8 weeks in advance.

that somehow the minimalism i practice in my wardrobe will become my very existence.

i mean, i’m just not sure it’s exactly the same as whittling down the variety of socks i wear, but i’m willing to give it a try.  it’s all about letting go – but on a really big scale.

Right ?!?

Oak trees

a faint memory sings

through the fog of life

of a little girl of 5, walking

around the neighborhood

pulling a red flyer wagon

in which sat rusty cans

of Folgers, packed with

hard Missouri clay and

scrawny twigs, each the

start of a mighty oak –

her sales pitch that while

they were not much to look at,

each held a promise of great

shelter in the determined jab

skyward. a bit like the girl

herself, a thin dirty child

of no consequence.

Ye of little faith

It is a text from one of my nieces that finally breaks me.

The niece sent us all a photo of my older sister that said under it, “All good now!”

Despite all the years and distance and the estrangement in between, my sister had essentially functioned as my mother when I was a child. And she had kept me out of really serious trouble at many important junctures in my youth – trouble that could have completely derailed my adult life.

She is the best approximation of a biological mother I have.

And now my sister is on my phone in this terrible photo. She sits, IV in her arm, smiling like the Cheshire Cat. Her shiny black hair is disheveled and her face is smeared with heavy wet mascara. Her chest is gone, flat from a double mastectomy. She’s at the hospital for a chemo treatment. According to my niece, doctors gave my sister heavy sedatives to calm her after a massive anxiety attack. Hence, the crazy, brave smile.

And to me, there is nothing “all good” about the scene.

Cancer is a thing in my family, this awful thing that can’t be contained. Virtually everyone seems to get some form of it and then very slowly die after rounds and rounds of horribly aggressive treatment. My grandfather. Three of my four aunts. Countless cousins and other distant relatives. Some of my less educated relations fear that maybe cancer is contagious, and won’t visit those who receive a diagnosis.

I know my sister has a strain of cancer that is particularly resistant to treatment. And the doctors seem to be throwing all the treatments at her. So of course, I think my sister is going to die, though I haven’t really put words to it yet until I see that photo.

“All good now,” I whisper to the photo of my sister. “All I can do is pray that it’s all good now. Whatever that means.”