She romps along the furrows
in midst of meadow’s blooming
random ruts and roots,
as if her toes have been
taught by lambs
how to prance in play.
Trilling, true giggles,
as easy and real
as raindrops in
a soothing summer shower,
mark her heart’s merriment
matching each felicitous footfall.
The flowers she caresses
bounce in willing harmony
to her body’s beat.
Colorful consorts to her
Exclamations of unwavering joy
and guileless understanding.
See the emboldened sun
beat brighter at her
Hear the birds sing
this moment in the making
and its worth to the world!
Too long, the church men
have labeled, libeled
your name with
ill repute for easy effect
from misplaced envy
or misogynistic bent
Every sinister whisper
of the alliteration
or salacious sneer.
Verily, the anti-virgin
revolting and revealing
tale to all womankind–
our sex-selected saint–
a repeated reminder
of how far we fall
and belittled we be
Unjustly blamed though
by pontiff first–
thereafter, by all–
the symbol of
the deadly sins
But the Bible gospels
find you faithful
to His end, last to
leave His cross,
first blessed by
His resurrected form
That is written–
yet you are
known by slander.
to believe the bad
than celebrate the good.
I remember Grandma Karason,
a most loving soul,
the first person I ever knew who went to Heaven,
I remember that I’ve never grown comfortable with her leaving so suddenly
without a final good bye
I remember walking up the gray front-porch steps on Long Street
how she stood at her screen door
how the tears sparkled in her eyes like bits of magic
when she greeted us hello or wished us good bye
I remember her short, stout arms, made strong and sure by years of taxing labor,
reaching out to us in joy and comfort
and her songlike voice caressing us with her immigrant Hungarian tongue:
“Lány” for me “Fiú” for my brothers–
special words bestowed like papal blessings
I remember the look she gave my father,
(head always cocked delicately to one side)
like he was an answer to a special prayer
I remember her hugs that always carried a bit of her kitchen when she drew us close
I remember that kitchen–like no other anywhere on my earth–
her kingdom–where she cooked and baked us Hungarian dishes
I was sure were really meant as gifts for the angels
I remember her working the retes dough until it looked as thin and lithe as linen and her carefully forming it into a dough tablecloth
before she’d cut it up for strudel
I remember poppy seeds and front-yard cherries
chicken paprikash and stuffed cabbage
I remember a Singer treadle sewing machine,
its place by the wall at the entrance to her kitchen,
and watching her work fabric under the pressure foot as she pedaled
I remember how she’d purse her mouth so her lips disappeared
to make the material move just the way it needed to go
I remember her house was “the old country” dark and heavy
the sun only shining when she was in a room
I remember her waist-length, wavy salt and pepper hair
braided and coiled around the top of her head
like a crown every day
and hair pins–loads and loads of hair pins
and the blue tin (with the silver butterfly on the lid) that she kept them in
I remember her sturdy, black, perforated Red Cross shoes
and stories about her father, the shoemaker
I remember the whispered secret that he died in Auschwitz for being Catholic, too
I remember the fragrance from the lily of the valley that ringed her house in the springtime and permeated her home with its bloom
I remember a tipped navy blue hat on her head
with a bouquet of white fabric flowers pinned to the front
delicately dancing up and down in rhythm to her minuscule movements
I remember the dull, definite thud of her body whenever Grandpa pushed her
against the wall in anger and frustration
I remember her asleep in her (one comfortable) living-room chair,
her hands folded, remarkably at rest
the slip of a serene smile
and Hop-Along-Cassidy in the background
I remember the feeling of melancholy
and the importance of prayer,
family, good food, faith,
love, forgiveness, grace
and simple joy . . .
She would not want me to forget.
What just happened?
With a scream like a rabid raccoon
the quarry stops and slumps by a barrel
In hyper induced reflex, he squeezes the trigger
Tearing through the alleyway chance chose
Unfortunate, fleeing, failed robber
Gun ready, in perilous pursuit of a dark figure
Not some pansy postal worker
He’s the neighborhood Dirty Harry
Relentlessly recharged he reaches for his .45
He feel its rejuvenating power
Adrenaline, nature’s speed, courses in his veins
He hears the alarm tripped in the lonely garage
Somehow, through his snoozing and snoring
The eyes, the mind relaxed in midnight’s spell,
Left this tale’s hero a snoozing, listless vessel
After thousands of letters sorted and sent
“What happened” happens here in Indiana.
Source: Nestel, M.L. Burglar Sues Man Who Shot Him: ‘I’m Lucky to Be Alive’. The Daily Beast. 28 April 2015.
It’s all elementary,
of no importance,
elder care and aging parents . . .
planning a storied life . . .
or the patio vegetable garden . . .
attending classes in
food therapy and fitness . . .
The rest of us
need to know
where to go for
a new understanding . . .
Do you know,
who is available
to teach us this?
Please, leave a message.
Words from Brookfield Public Library (Brookfield, WI) entryway bulletin board, 11 April 2015.
help unprepared us
see social issues
in grim times
never known before.
They keep us
the true answer
Presenters: Gibbons,Tammy and Reading Specialists: Norm Andrews, Jeni Berthold, Christie Johnson, Kristin Kashian,Julie Rutkowski, and two district parents. Social Issues Replacement Unit Committee. Follow-up Presentation. Elmbrook School District Administration Offices 26 March 2015.