Micropoetry Monday: The Faultlessness of their Stars

When the learned astronomer went blind,
he hired a foundling—
a lost soul hovering between heaven & hell.
A wealthy intellectual
(which was an oxymoron, for some),
he asked the boy to be his eyes,
to describe everything he saw.
And it was through the eyes of the blind,
that the learned astronomer’s apprentice,
through service to another,
reached his potential.
When the learned astronomer closed his eyes
for the final time in earth-space,
the boy’s eyes had been opened,
for there’d been nothing he’d ever had
that had been of value to anyone,
except to the learned astronomer
whose last sight was feel of the boys’ wet face
in his hands.

She bicycled, upcycled, & recycled,
burning calories,
not waste.
Her collar had faded from blue to white,
only to deepen into green.
She planted herself where she would grow the most–
an environment where she could be her most creative.
And with every ripening
& every reaping,
there would not be an uprooting,
but a replanting,
for she would leave a seed in her place–
ready to help the next person grow
in that place.

As Angel & Demon walked side by side in a parallel universe,
they came upon an impressionable human being
hitchhiking their way through the galaxy–
now standing before that split in the wishbone.
These 2 otherworldly beings were on a mission:
the former,
to gain a soul,
the latter,
a lost one.
The Demon told this being
that all their senses would be heightened
to anything they had ever experienced on Earth;
the Angel said that what they would experience
beyond the mythical pearly gates
would transcend all senses.
When the human being chose the planet
of the sun rays & the moon beams
over the one of candlelight & firelight,
they realized that they’d been to this place before,
& that the life they’d known had been a scavenger hunt–
where only a minority had figured out
that it was not themselves they were looking for,
but the Ticketmaster with the unlimited tickets
that had already been paid for.

Micropoetry Monday: Thanatology

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.

A Series of Fortunate Encounters

The day was young,
the night was long,
that date of March 4th–
the date Sydney breezed into the Reedsy Bluesy Cafe
where Tammy O’Shanter told her that Adelaide
(called Addie)
was the only one who had ever ordered chocolate milk (never coffee)
and a truffle brownie drenched in caramel syrup
every morning for breakfast
while she completed her morning crossword,
leaving behind more questions than answers.
Sydney waltzed into the Pence State College library
where Addie was always on the waiting list
for the newest installment of the Chocoholics Anonymous,
even as she was always late returning it,
leaving behind a Dove candy wrapper like a pressed flower,
which she had used for a bookmark.
Sydney ran into the man to whom Addie had been “practically engaged,”
into Addie’s best friend with whom she had shared the part of her life
her sister hadn’t seen,
and the mother they’d shared a space with–
a woman who had known Addie in a completely different way.
This all happened on her way to her Celebration of Life
(which they called funerals now),
with Addie as the guest of honor,
but the celebration had begun early
as Sydney retraced the steps Addie had taken every morning–
to gather the memories she would take out like holiday keepsakes–
memories she would take out when it only seemed
that she had run out of her own.

Losing Sam

No one ever died in the South—
they simply passed away.
Her son hadn’t been killed,
but rather,
she had lost him in an accident.
When she wished him away from Heaven
and back to Earth,
it was only hope she experienced—
the hem of his coat as he went out the door,
the sound of his footsteps in the hall after a night out,
the smell of Axe that lingered in his bedroom.
In every sense but the physical,
he was there,
but the tragedy was that his memory
lived on in the form of a shadow
in which her daughter lived.

The Last Will and Testament of Mary Andrews

I hesitate to write what I will someday no longer be able to say.
A writer always wishes to live on through their words,
for even though their lives and loves will pass away,
their words will not pass away.
Like Poe, Frost, or Dickinson,
they seek to achieve everlasting life through their good works.
Faith will help me move on,
even while all the inspiration that has yet to be revealed
tries to get me to hold on.

I write to my husband John, a letter—
trying to tell him a lifetime’s worth in a thousand words—
the length of flash fiction;
for when I got the diagnosis,
it was like my life was over in a flash.

I ask him to take care of golden Katja,
who was one of the best parts of myself
I brought into the marriage.

Read to our daughter every day that I am not with her:
the stories I loved,
the stories I have written,
the stories that have yet to be written.

Teach Lara how to make cabbage rolls,
fill the house with the smell of them,
for it will be then that you can close your eyes
and just imagine.
Give her the list of the books I loved,
for through them,
perhaps even loving what I loved,
she will come to know me.

There is a box containing ten books—
a book for each for my closest friends.
Send them,
for I hope that the words of others’
I pass on…

Whatever loose ends there are,
tie them up in a pretty little bow.

Keep up my blog for me:
Every week, post one of my thousand and one poems,
in the sequence I describe.
By doing that, you will have extended my life on this earth
another twenty years.
By then, I will have grown vague in your mind,
but my words will be fresh as daisies in the springtime.

Publish all of my books online for the price of a coffee,
so that they may never wither away,
so that they have a chance someday
to become known as something great.

Leave my Facebook page open,
for someday, I may leave a message for you,
and it will be as if I am alive.

In a safe deposit box,
paid up for eighteen years,
there is a batch of letters tied with a lavender ribbon—
a letter for Lara,
every year on her birthday.
A P.S., I Love You type of thing.
Every year, every letter,
will reveal a new memory
she didn’t know we shared.
There will be a DVD for each one,
and just maybe,
she will remember for real.
I would spread them out forever if I could.
I would have recorded more memories had I known.

Because of you,
people will someday know my name.
You are my hands, my eyes,
my heart, my voice,
my intercessor on Earth.

I ask all of this from you because I am not ready to let go of this life,
for the day will come that all those who remembered me
will be gone,
and all that will be left are my words on a page,
on a screen,
floating like stars across the blogosphere—
tiny pinpricks of light shining across the virtual globe.

When the summer rains come down,
think of them as my tears,
baptizing you with my blessing to live—
to finish what we started together:
our Lara.

When it is lightning,
think of me playing with fireworks
with the sister I never got to know.

When it thunders,
think of me atop my old horse, Seccy—
of the happy reunion we must have had,
the winds of Heaven blowing through our manes
as we jump over the rainbows and
race through the crowds—
a fantastic chariot race,
an exhilarating steeplechase.

When the sun shines on you,
think of my warmth,
and the shade,
my shadow—
both covering you completely.

When you smell the gardenias,
and taste the strawberries that grow
around the white arbor in our garden,
know that I have just been there.
You couldn’t quite catch me,
but I will be near,
just beyond the trellis,
to that place where the woodbine twineth.

And if you ever do fall in love again,
and I so hesitate to say,
for I am not losing you,
you are losing me…
Put my picture away
for only you to see.
The flowers on my grave
need only be freshened once a year,
for even the most important deaths,
like Easter,
are remembered but once a year,
and am I not so much lesser than that?

Someday, Lara will be grown,
and I will become real to you all over again.
She will be standing under the lattice,
the sunlight reflecting off of her strawberry blond head,
so like mine.
Her face will be shadowed.
She will be at the very age I was when I passed away,
and you will be struck with the awe and wonder
that is my greatest legacy.
For that second,
you will be given a glimpse back in time.
I have seen in my dream what it will take you years to see.
It was the last gift God gave me.

She will not remember,
but she will see
through our lovely technology,
how much I did love her.
She will know that she brought us back together,
that we tried for her,
and stayed for ourselves.

I am so happy now,
when I think I won’t ever really be gone—
just simply somewhere else
in another dimension,
where time flows in a different direction.