Friday, December 31, 2010

The Unraveling

The point of the needle
enters the cloth
pops out again
moving the silver metal
pulling the thread
binding seam to seam
shoulder to shoulder
bodice to skirt
than down the sides
front to back.
and finally
with delicate motion
it forms a hem.
All done, finished, complete
until something grows,
or something shrinks.
There is a feeling
of unraveling
and it is all gone.

The point of the needle
is forced to begin again.

(c)Doris Gwaltney                         2008
from The Poet's Domain, Vol 23
Live Wire Press, Charlottesville, VA

Thursday, December 30, 2010

She Was Who She Is

Aline, mother of friend, Barry,
died this morning in her sleep.
2:30 A.M.
He cared for her at his place
fed her, bathed her, stayed
close to the house
watched the Alzheimers grow meaner
watched her gather the small
paper bag of personals
and sit by the door
waiting to go home.
I'm Barry, he'd say, your son.
You are home, he would say.

She'd smile sweetly
and turn to her room.
Those last days
He bought her a hospital bed
to help with the pain
even when softly he lifted her
to hold off the bed sores,
a woman, who,
in eighty some years of life
was likely the first to rise.

He laughed with her
as he bathed her in the tub
splashed water and made her giggle
taking care to gentle all the private parts
just as she had done for him and her boys
when they were little guys.
At the end, surrendered,
she squeezed his hand
and thanked him.

She had nursed her husband, Fred,
through the dark days of his early death
and now had no one left to take care of.
Not even her ownself.

(c)Robert E. Young                    2008
from The Poet's Domain, Vol 24
Live Wire Press, Charlottesville, VA

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bowl of Cherries

Stay with me
spellbound in laughter
believing tomorrow's miracles.
With you I take no notice
of lightning.  Really you say
only Fourth of July sparklers
with chuckles of thunder
minor considerations to the young.

Death grins but stays
on the sidelines
nothing discriminative
just keeping an eye on me.

Oh yes, that old cliche
I'm young in heart
fooling myself.

(c)Doris Baker                            2008
from The Poet's Domain, Vol 23
Live Wire Press, Charlottesville, VA


Her name when spoken
was always in hushed tones.
Her name was Rachel.
She was my aunt.
My mother's older sister.

My mother, six sisters, brother,
and grandmother emigrated from Russia.
Mother was four.
The year 1907.

My grandfather had come before.

At age sixteen, Rachel was put
in the crazy house.
Her name became more hushed.
Sometimes still.

At age forty, she committed suicide.

My grandmother is buried near Rachel.
It was her last wish.
She felt no one would visit her daughter
if she were alone.

My grandfather is buried on the other side of town.

When Rachel died, some wondered if
God would open the gates of Heaven to her.
Or would she have to climb hand-over-hand
on a celestial ladder--for eternity.

(c)Betty Maistelman                     2008
from The Poet's Domain, Vol 23
Live Wire Press, Charlottesville, VA