She spent part of her holiday
scrapbooking her memories,
there would be more of them;
the other she spent
memorializing another’s memories,
there wouldn’t be
any more of them,
yet both books
were a celebration of life
& the people who lived it.
The friends she’d had during the best of times
were her friends for a season,
& were wonderful in their time,
but the friends who were there for her
during the worst of times
were her friends for all seasons—
sunbeams that warmed the grieving rain.
She put smiley-faced notes in her children’s lunch bags,
left lovey-dovey Post-Its for her husband on the kitchen counter,
& texted silly jokes to her mother when she couldn’t reach her.
She left a paper trail that stretched for miles,
so that when she was suddenly gone,
her family was left to pick up the scraps
that couldn’t even begin to tell the story
of how much they’d meant to her.
The creative life was not a lonely one,
for those who were captivated by her creations
were led to wonder about their creator.
The newspaper had given her all the facts:
Who had taken her daughter out of the world,
the date & location her silencing had taken place,
what he had done to her
& the manner in which he had done it,
but the why eluded her.
To get that answer,
she had to go to the only one who knew it,
for without the why,
the rest would not exist.
Through her writing,
her readers saw her soul first,
And when they met her,
they saw not a personality,
but a person with one.
He was Shakespeare,
she, greeting cards.
She saw in him,
a man who took himself too seriously,
even as he saw her as a woman
who didn’t take herself seriously enough.
He exposed her to words
that meant something,
even as she exposed him to words
that had once meant something
on their best days &
on their worst days.
He wrote love stories,
she, romance novels.
Each believed the other
to be inferior—
hers in literary merit,
his in marketplace value,
though they both practiced
by doing what they loved.
She was finishing school,
She made rumors people used
for the detriment
of their peers,
whereas he made things people could use
for the benefit of them.
When she decided she wanted
to “go slumming”
by trying someone new,
he told her that he only knew how
to work with wood,
Orange hated being compared with Apple,
as he was quite pithy & had a zest for life,
although not without a peel,
didn’t know the difference
between a screwdriver & a mimosa.
He was forgiven for his culinary sins—
squirting ketchup on hot dogs
& spooning sugar in his grits—
when he made the cruelty-free,
& flavor-free brownies that,
put them all in a good humor.
Deciding to peel off some pounds,
Apple, Banana, & Pear Shapely
went to the gym,
only to have Hourglass
give them several karate chops &
pour them into smoothies.
Bryan Dark & Sara White
had always been at odds—
Mr. Dark claiming antioxidant powers &
that Miss White wasn’t real chocolate.
When they came together—
she, as a coating
& he, a filling,
they realized that although they were different,
they were also equal.
He called them chocolate balls,
she called them truffles.
He said she was too fancy,
she said he was too plain,
but when their child called them bonbons,
they realized that no matter what you called them,
by any other name,
they tasted the same
(but always just a little better dark).
He was all kinds of eye candy—
this hunk of white chocolate with
a soft center that melted her heart.
She never got to unwrap this temptation
in the shiny peppermint paper,
so she satisfied her cravings
by noshing on the darkest nougat—
an activity that packed on the calories
rather than burned them.
She left so many pieces of herself behind,
that even as the memory of her body faded,
new memories of her spirit—
as she was at the time of her death—
she posted pieces of her history
& her imagination,
the two converging like rivers on a map,
so that no one knew what was true
& what wasn’t.
When the calligrapher met the typist,
a war of words ensued—
a war where Functionality trounced Beauty in speed & legibility,
but Beauty trounced Functionality in artistry & forgery.
He was a team player,
who enjoyed watching
a bunch of men
running around with numbers
on their backs,
throwing what looked like a
misshapen Hostess cupcake
through the air.
She was a team of 1,
who wrote & edited
her own stories,
for there wasn’t always
to read them.
And to keep the peace,
he agreed to never make her watch,
while she agreed to never make him read.
He was a purveyor of magic tricks,
she, of magic treats.
When they crossed one another’s paths
at a Halloween party
like a pair of black cats,
they became unlucky in love,
for she found out that his tricks
were nothing but an illusion,
that her treats were flavor-enhanced with MSG.
He loved secular holiday tunes,
she, spiritual Christmas carols,
for she saw Christmas as a holy day,
& he, a holiday.
the lists were naughty & nice,
based on words & deeds;
the lists were Heaven or Hell,
based on belief.
Even though they would forever
disagree on everything else,
they could agree that
whatever the reason
for the season,
kindness should be
the universal code of conduct.