Time and Women

a square wooden table – hewn but smoothed with use.
she covers it with a hand woven cloth her mother wove, when
she herself was young.
The pitcher, thick white and darkened along the hair line
cracks is good only now for the flowers she finds
along the creek in spring and summer.
Flowers her grandmother showed her and pointed out.
She places the pitcher upon the table, upon the cloth.
The curtains are new, fashioned from a dress too
thread bear to wear but gathered in pleats and hung
to challenge the sun and brighten the room.
She learned to sew from hardly nothing from her mother.
The books are few; the Bible, the poetry no one knew.
Sonnets by a master long dust that she read to the women in the room.
The journal, written upon each page and pages added
from labels and wrappings and pouches of paper holding
seed.
Nothing is wasted here and the world here is at peace.
She writes, she reads and sows seed.
the square wooden table, hewn long ago and smoothed with use
and iron hard with time and women.

Blinded

Brittle, arid and iron to the taste
Shudder and cringe along the
Edge of the wind.
I see the prey crumble in the
Talons of the eagle and I hear
The moan of the wounded north.
The snap and buzz of insect wings
Is all the night brings
The wolf roams the night one and many
Blood replaces the river bed’s dissipate
Water.
Son pull their vision skyward, lift their chins
Blind their eyes with their own desire
They seek only visions and so go as
Narcissus
The bear and wolf settle in cool, dark places
Waiting for the eagle to block the sun
Wings expanded talons facing the blinded.

Let Me Go

No not dead – no I do not feel dead.
How could I?
I breathe, I walk, I have no idea of death.
Except by what I see; death marked upon the forehead
Of those who stiffly stay within their coffins.
No note is rendered after their last breath:
This is what death is.
No I feel numb and so encumbered
By the concern on everyone’s face.
I feel their urgency, their impatience.
Come now, come now, it’s time to
Be moving on.
Seems odd.
Seems odd, indeed that the older
I become those around me know what is best for me.
When all I really need is silence and submergence
Deep down into my grief
So as to rush up resurrected
Resurrected into music, the sound of
Voices singing hallelujah so as to drown out the chatter of
Judgment
Let go, let me go
Wait for the miracle.

My Job Days (prophet, not occupation)

The servant of God – Job.

The Life of the servant restored –

The curse lifted,

His life after his trials, blessed.

But did he never have a dark moment after?

Did he wake in the middle of the night

Remembering the silence of his friends

And then their accusations?

Did he feel the heat and ease of his wife’s body

Next to him and then remember her words,

“Turn and Die”?

These are my Job days.

Twenty-first century Job days.

The intolerant man at the library,

My frightened son,

A new passion encumbered by suspicion

Neither one of us deserves.

Is the outstretched hand just another prison?

These are my Job days,

The memory lesson days.

God has arrived and the whirlwind subsided.

The graves have sunk to level ground

The children play not far afield.

I smile, I laugh, I learn and teach,

But wonder did Job ever stop to pause, as I do,

Over bright meadows, golden harvest, and

Soft cold winter nights, colder now somehow.

Did Job long for the soft touch of rest and repose and

Stare into darkness instead?

Did he scrape the scars of the sores God allowed?

Does the servant never cower now?

These are my Job days.

Old enough to let go, endure the ache of regret

But not quite old enough to forget.

God’s quiet voice echoes in my head.

He always answers with a question.

His favorite, “Were you there?”

For my life, yes I was there.

And like Job, no human touch, no smile or kind expression means sincere connection.

Every man for himself, every fresh looking whore too,

Every child, every demanding parent, every well meaning

Friend sinks to memory, a crashing memory of sickness, disease

Catastrophe, the blank stare of despondency,

During these Job days.

As pencil scrapes paper and cadence settles in

I’m hiding in my car, cold feet, aching hands.

No leaves on the trees a beautiful blue sky

People go by.

Did Job have these days?

Did Job remember his own cry for justice?

Did the memory of his own staunch defense

And belief in his innocence weary and slacken his mind?

What does restored mean?

That we’ve learned well to handle the emotions and

Trials of catastrophe, disease, death –

Yet a slighted touch, a cross word, a moment’s silence

Too long between lovers,

Crashes the sky and breaks the heart.

These are the scars that remain

And the servant’s heart has yet to be restored.

These are my Job days.

I Dance

I dance with someone you know,
broad shoulders and gentle hands -
he looks down upon me, fully kind.
So, so sorry he is not you.
The music is low and lamenting,
we whirl and spin as if we’ve known
each other forever and ever and every
move relaxes me -
because he is not you.
I feel the climax of a voice that sings,
the drums that thrum the beat our
feet slide to.
Easily I rest my head lightly upon his shoulder-
only for a moment; he allows me.
A moment, a century, that when I
lift my face to smile my thanks,
he would be you.
He is not you.

Widow

Are we free in age according to gender?

Do we see the freedom of silvered mane?

My repast is no longer;

I stand apart from strong attraction.

Moments of comfort and once dreaded familiarity,

Are only, my love, now moments of wise husbandry.

In quiet times, the lines of your face reflected

The beauty of your youth so long ago etched by

The strength that you built in holding me

By will of mind alone; yes you realized that late.

Beloved, and hated, broken and mended passion,

And gentle touch, where have we not loved?

Where have we not wondered in hand both weary

Yet full of joy that we do not face the abyss alone.

So alone am I on this night, alone standing within

The silver glow of the moon, a sister of mythology

A widow too.

Smile for me my love in memory. Husband, at

Last the warrior I am is now in bloom, sown deep

Within the memory of you.

Are we free in age according to gender?

Or are we prepared when loved, to complete the

Work of many that two started?

Nameless

Speak and he spoke not

to her

Wood gray weathered and

worn smooth,

Almost away. He

placed

Near her grave the red

Red

Rose thornless; a lie.

Pewter lilac gray,

Carved from rock not

Woven soft from a

Mother’s hand, no frock

Or wedding band

She lay upon her

Slate grave, nameless, but

For the women who

‘tend her soft hiding

Place.

We hope for layers, we don't always receive from hope.

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