--LIFE IS MOSTLY EDGES
…We had snow over the weekend. I wish you could see how beautiful it looks dusted across the frozen surface of the lake with a few randy ducks either swimming on the edges or strutting across the ice.
It’s nice to be able to enjoy the beauty of a good snowfall. When I was in the corporate world, snow equated to disaster for business and thus I always feel into a funk when it would snow. I also used to pray for rain on the weekends because that was best for business. It’s perverse, but true.
Now it’s nice to be a normal human.
…Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day writing poetry, much of it about what I was looking at outside my window, and all of it, of course, a little sad:
Fighting The Monster
I am trying to write the voices down
but they caterwaul in spirals,
in echoes rimmed with barbwire,
boomeranging back to me the way your small arms never do.
Yesterday I found one of your socks.
It was striped, purple and green,
the heal nearly worn through
and I recalled how much you loved to skip.
Your mother was out,
but it didn’t matter.
All the same I knelt down in the closet,
weeping, shipwrecked and gutted again,
and that’s when the voices began anew,
shouting, “You should have been there!”
asking, “What kind of parent leaves their six year old alone
with a monster?”
I never have answers.
My only defense is retreat up here,
to your room
where I used to read you stories each night.
I sit on the edge of your bed,
pen in hand,
paper on my lap.
I write and I write.
I tell you how sorry I am
and how much I will always miss you.
Your shadow fell upon my window
late last night
and I could tell from the outlines that you were wearing
the same dress you had on when you fell,
the one with red polka dots that made you look like a six year old lady bug.
I was afraid to rise because you always flea when I do,
so I watched your ghost shimmy across the glass like a pair of gray wings.
I watched you hover and shudder,
thinking maybe ghosts get cold, too.
Branches scraped across the panes
and it was if you were trying to tell me something,
that life loses its mystery if you’re standing on the edge and only looking down.
Your mother said I could have caught you if I believed in magic,
and that being fifty and breathing is hardly enough to save a soul,
let alone a marriage.
Still I try to convince myself
that you had to fly,
that being airborne and free
is the only option
for the women I love.
We have been waking up to walking.
Yes, I know how odd that sounds,
but it’s true.
Each morning when our eyes open we are already mobile,
moving down empty streets or traipsing through the barren foothills
that skirt the edges of existence.
We might be the sole survivors,
actors in another dystopian film,
and yet there must be answers somewhere,
concrete reasons why we failed the planet who
gave us so much.
We walked across the lake,
not worried about the thickness of the ice,
moving at an urgent pace,
like thieves on the run.
It felt as if nothing mattered but a way out.
You said, “There are people who will love us somewhere,”
and I wanted to believe you but we were so young then.
As we reached the other side,
a deer watched us scrabble to the shore
and I recall admiring how calm and brave
the animal appeared,
alone in a world so cold.
You were two years older
so you took my hand and I let you this one time.
I was certain we were lost,
but you pulled out a map and said,
“It’s just miles, is all. Miles til we find love.”
In the morning I find the lake frozen,
encrusted with a jagged gray lid,
a few randy ducks floating near the edges,
some tottering over the ice
like drunken drifters on the moon.
I search from end to end
using binoculars to scan the farthest stretches.
In a yard on the north side, a snowman leans forward as if fainting.
Outside children toss rocks trying to puncture the shelf.
Smoke slithers from chimneys,
while tree branches sag and mope under the strain of so much snow.
Years ago I would have been captivated by all this stilted beauty,
but today it’s just another reminder of how lonely life is