Daze of September

September 11, 2011

The Kindergarten teacher returned to her class after 20 minutes (possibly her only break of the day). Her comment to me, something like, the world is changed; you might be especially needed in your office now. I can’t remember whether she told me why or I learned later. With the puppets who helped teach the Guidance lesson, I left innocence and entered incomprehension.
Later, after going to be with The Buckeyes and coming back, we had our– if I may be a queen wannabe briefly–“annus horribilis.” I thought of the survivors of 9/11 many times. How did they stand up on shaky ground after the rug was pulled out from under them. We had many people pass from Fernside that year (a slow tsunami that keeps coming); not as many quite as quickly, though.
Retrying reading, I selected a book about and a book by E.B. White. Dr. Richerson would be proud. I hope. He suggested the Strunk & White after discovering our connection with language & literature one day as we worked together in the PE Department office. I wonder would I have picked Here is New York if I had known of the foreshadowing I found.
E.B. White’s New York had already changed from 1948 to 1949. “The Lafayette hotel, mentioned in passing, has passed, despite the mention.” No way he could have foreseen the changes 9/11 brought, yet he wrote, “The subtlest change in New York is something people don’t speak much about but that is in everyone’s mind. The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition.” He was talking about a different kind of war; whatever kind, the consequences seem the same to me.
Mr. White wrote of a different time, a new United Nations: “The city at last perfectly illustrates both the universal dilemma and the general solution, this riddle in steel and stone is at once the perfect target and the perfect demonstration of nonviolence, of racial brotherhood this lofty target scraping the skies and meeting the destroying planes halfway, home of all people and all nations, capital of everything, housing the deliberations by which the planes are to be stayed and their errand forestalled.”
He concluded the “slim” “love letter” with symbolism important to me since Mrs. Collins gifted us with memorizing the poem in 5th grade…a tree:
“A block or two west of the new City of Man in Turtle Bay there is an old willow tree that presides over an interior garden. It is battered tree, long suffering and much climbed, held together by strands of wire but beloved of those who know it. In a way it symbolized the city: life under difficulties, growth against odds, sap-rise in the midst of concrete, and the steady reaching for the sun. Whenever I look at it nowadays, and feel the cold shadow of the planes, I think: ‘This must be saved, this particular thing, this very tree.’ If it were to go, all would go—this city, this mischievous and marvelous monument which not to look upon would be like death.”
Maybe that explains why I hang on to the Peace Lilies, though they look war-torn, and hope they live to see better/me-out-of-the daze days.


See Six Down

[a barker at a carnival without a clown? wait! our noses are red]

He died while she lay dying?

Left her out?  Right there,


Why cross?  This is the day.

She came up home?

He came? Lived down home? Left her alone?

Her part played wrong?

She was the Shepherd?

He stepped down strong?

even if it’s been

“so long”

some pieces aren’t still put back t o   g e t   h e r

How can we pick back up? find right fit?

When again it’s Mother’s Day, and _____ is missing?

ReSHErrection: “Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!

And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”  “Do unto others.







Good Neighbors




Heavenly Md, NancyNaOMiNeighborsDuncan


Stitching, seam after seam, it took her the rest of recess to secure my circle skirt to its top and

restore the dress my mom had made for me

I hadn’t yet learned all the lessons the slippery slide had in store

I knew—through siblings or smarter classmates—that wearing shorts underneath

prepared you for playing


I knew but didn’t that day so

now I know that

good as it gets, there is the capability of tearing things in two

It takes a skillful teacher to,

on one hand,

sew–despite it not being in the job description–on this side of the door and

send away sight-seekers (maybe Mike who later left early) standing

on the other.

She made it seem effortless she seamed so smoothly; mending she made all things seem possible.

I learned a lot that day




and from skillful schoolteachers before and since

…have hopefully helped others learn some lessons


now all I need to know is

how to sew

a broken heart

Driving across town to Doctor again today
Copenhagen. Cup.
Correct timing to not take the walker away
Too soon
Too late.
He’s in,
Walker’s wedged
Back seat behind him
Everything he needs
He takes along
(Didn’t need to use the urinal this time)
Doctoring done
Back in the sun
Doors open
Dad drops down
The Past present now
wedging the walker
Stings my eyes

Mad at McDonald’s

July 29, 2009

McDonald’s makes me so mad.
Wendy’s as well.
With Long John’s I am livid.
I feel like SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS, SCREAMING until shortness of breath breaks
No one seems to notice she hasn’t eaten there in a while
I wish someone would have the decency to discontinue her favorite salad, sandwich, shrimp since
Really, it is McDonald’s I’m mad at.
And also, I am angry at every other place.
I don’t ever want to go there again.
it’s hard to swallow.

Orphan Mother’s Day

May 10, 2009

I won’t look back and call to her.
She won’t look for me and miss the stone in her step,
break her fall with her glasses, blame-me-not for the
bruise and missing pieces.
Her crown won’t fall off.


She is here like nightfall falling
all around.
So sure sometimes
I forget to notice.

I don’t forget she let me go on ahead except in
certain circumstances.

This season my gift is letting her go

noticing, grateful we got to walk together,

in this certain
darker night
she went on ahead.

I’m pleased through the pain the
ethereal path has
smoother stones.

May 3, 2009

I never knew a tenderloin could make me cry

(a tribute to Frogs because it’s not easy being Green)

no one thought to warn me about  a tenderloin.

it could have been the onions?

maybe it was the memory

of how We’d get one for Two

And talk about how big and wonder

how We could ever manage it all

and then admire Our teamwork

upon completion.

on this day

left alone  (except in spirit)

to do it by myself–

it could have been the onions

causing my throat to close causing

my nose, my eyes, my mind

to run sense no one

ever warned me about  a tenderloin–

I remembered

no one ever told Me except


I love my cousins.
Matthew is one of them.
One day one summer I was his favorite.
All I had to do was read.
The same book.
and over.
And make the fish lips between pages.
We made a movie together too that summer.
Maybe neither of us would win an Oscar, but anyway we had a lot of fun.
I wish I could remember which book it was Matt liked so much.
I remember being happy Mark and his friend liked my SF collection from class, but Matt’s book has been forgotten.
What has not been–and what will never be– forgotten
is the sight of him flying kites with his little cousins at the lake last year when we celebrated his mom’s birthday.
Nor will I forget his sweet shining smile when he said I was his favorite
and any time I saw him after that.
Charles Dickens said, “I love little children, and it is not a slight thing when they,
who are fresh from God, love us.”
I love Matthew, and it is no slight thing that he,
who is fresh back to God,
loved me.

My sister keeps your house

It still seems like home

Even if a squirrel or snake comes for the winter and decides to stay

Like the others who saw your open door, walked through to the warmth

And stayed a little longer

Like you stayed longer than anybody else you knew

Awed to be allowed

We worried once

Then an angela parenza eye saw something

Knowledge I hadn’t ever known

She imparted, impact only, “the foundation is fine

Very good in fact; there’s no problem here”

And with that ray of hope ringing in our ears

We realized what’s right amongst some ruin

With a firm foundation

We can keep rebuilding