Sunday, February 24, 2013

When Love Was New

When Love Was New

Circles traced on bare skin
Breath on breath
Touches lightly
On my ear
Many days
The scenes change
You are there
Somewhere back
Beyond the choices
Never made
Sits the dream
That never grew
When newness
Was new
And newness
Was you
Still touches my soul
Bare and warm
Makes me face
The force of slow days
Waiting, pressing me
Into dreams
Too soon, too late
Moving beyond
Your touch
Not knowing why
Choosing to lie
To soul and flesh


December, 2012
RBR

Friday, September 14, 2012

It Comes For Me


I hear its heavy lumbering in the distance, stopping and starting with grunts and spews of exhaust.  The sounds tell me to brace for the last assault as it moves ever closer to where I lay.

True, my days are over.  Used and discarded like the rest of my world, I am not my former self but instead a empty suitcase of what is left of my life.  As all things, I was needed once, new and inviting… I was eagerly held in loving experienced hands.  It was a perfect combination of necessity and want of what we all want… to be needed.

I tried oh I tried to hang on by being useful with an intrinsic purpose, but new was what was desired most and who among us cannot age?  The spark of life slows eventually through marching time and use.

Closer it comes, revving its massive engine with animal roars of determination.  There is no stopping it now. 

We mass together in the autumn breeze, trembling.  There is a strange comfort in our shared fate. All of us had different reasons for being, but today we know our ending will be the same.  It doesn’t matter if we were once the shining star of a party, a missive of smart information, still serviceable to someone or the evening dessert of a lusty mouth --- we are all used up and spent.

If only I could have hung on a little longer, polishing myself to remain inviting, but there was no way.  We all have to go sometime.  Delay just postpones the worry of when.  Who wants constant thoughts of when will I be tossed aside like those before me… thrown away for the next play-pretty?  Better now than when I’m so battered I won’t know which end is up!

Some do stay in the game longer with a nip and a tuck, a generous oiling or a refurbishing of the fa├žade.  You would agree with me if you were me.  We both would embrace it together, I know we would.

Am I not like all others?  We all have our pride, but when it comes for you, you will be ready just as I am even now in my morning hour of panic.  I know it is time to go without a fight.
The sound is deafening now!

It will next stop for me --- all of us uselessly huddled together --- and I will go like the others who went before me and after me to the unknown place, forever and ever.  Amen.

It’s trash day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weak in the Knees

Surprisingly, K did write my sister!

It was a sincere letter full of feelings for our brother.  She said they were soul mates and, maybe in another place and another time, things might have been perfect for them.  Whenever they saw each other, she became weak in the knees like a young girl in love!    

One thing she did tell my sister was that they were never together sexually.  Only once did they get to be alone and talk intimately.  They both felt they didn’t want to cheapen the deep love they had for each other.

My sister and K plan to meet sometime in person and talk.  None of us want the love we feel for my brother to be forgotten.  As K said, “We all loved the same guy!" 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Brother’s Lover

We found love letters.

While my brother was fighting for his life in the hospital, my sister and my brother’s son went to my brother’s condo to search for medical and legal papers.  I waited in the family waiting room watching people come and go, some sleeping in the fold-out chairs.

When my sister returned, she had a small stack of letters some still sealed, but some opened.  She handed an opened one to me.  They had found a love letter and a card to someone with the initial K in his jacket coat pocket and they had read a few of them.

I can’t read these, I told them both.  These longing letters were for “her”… whoever she may be.  It was a shame she never received them I said.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get these love letters to her?  It would be impossible, I thought, but we all agreed it would be a romantic outcome.  It was comforting to know our brother was in a happy place when the stroke happened.  He loved someone and someone loved him!

After my brother’s death a few days later, the lovers’ words began unraveling the mystery.  In his home, we found elegant letters and poems, a few written by my brother, but mostly from the lady K.  My sister read more of the secret missives finding clues to who the mysterious K could be as she had to be someone living in my brother’s small town.  We discovered they had met at church.

K was in a physically abusive marriage.  She had been battling breast cancer for a few years… in her own words, wondering if anyone could really love her again after her deforming surgery.  Often she wrote her letters on the back road of the town’s huge cemetery.

My brother was legally separated for two years and had almost reached the end of a horrible marriage at the time of his death.  Using their initials, they often made a statement that together they would both be “OK”.  It was obvious that O & K had found comfort and peace in their love, like a tragic destiny.  Their letters and his poems had such a yearning that brought their happiness alive and then, because of his death, crashed those dreams in a poignant unbelievable sadness.

While cleaning out his home, we found all kinds of new household items; color-coordinated, unopened in bags with tags… they told of plans to start-over.  He was in his new dream car when the stroke hit him in the church parking lot.  We knew he had found a house in another state that he planned to purchase after his divorce.  We make plans and God laughs… but my brother was happy making those plans for the future.  It was apparent O was going to whisk K up one day and ride off into the sunset!

Two of my sisters visited my brother’s church in hopes of finding K.  We didn’t know what she looked like and only a few people took the time to find out who my sisters were, but as they were leaving, a woman came up to the car and introduced herself.  Shocked, my sisters told her who they were and, after some persuasion, K said she was the right person. 

K was worried about her letters to my brother being found, but my sisters assured her they had them all.  One sister pressed a piece of paper with her phone number and told Kathy to call her sometime.

She was a mousy woman with thinning, patched hair, probably from chemo treatments.  Not my brother’s type, my sisters thought.  Her eyes constantly darted back to her husband sitting in their car.  She was visibly sad, telling my sisters they had only been together once and their letters were the only thing that kept her going.  “I really loved him,” was the last thing she said as they parted ways.            

My sister hopes K will call her someday and eventually we can give the tender letters and poems to her without causing her more grief or pain.  Knowing some of the situation makes it seem dangerous. 

Who are we to judge, my sisters and I tell each other?  Who knows why we are drawn to one another for so many human reasons?  They needed their love and their dreams. 

The heart wants what it wants.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Steps to Nowhere?

Uptown there are “left behind” step that used to herald the entrance of a long-gone business.  The overgrown lot has been vacant for years, except for the eight broken concrete steps.

A few months ago, I started noticing homeless men sitting on the steps.  The shade trees on either side of the steps provided a respite from the summer sun and made a neat spot for the men to congregate and talk.

Lately, I began to think of those steps in a different way --- they are the steps to nowhere.  These men must feel their lives are going nowhere too with life tossing them out on the streets.  The steps might be comfortable for now, but maybe they should find another perch or a more helpful sanctuary.  There are places within a few blocks that offer ways of providing what they might need instead of resting at this weigh station on the road of life.

How many of us have missed opportunities by sitting on steps to nowhere?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

There Goes Your Tip, Honey!

The day after my older daughter’s birthday, we were out to lunch together.  Our waitress said to her, “You two are sisters, right?”  My daughter told her no, that I was her mother!

Being a bit depressed over her birthday anyway, this did not make my daughter very happy.  It made me feel good until I realized…

A teenager would think anyone over a certain age was ancient!  Forty-four or 65, it was all OLD to Miss Under-Twenty.  Oh, well, it felt good for a second or two before reality hit me.  I’m not getting any younger and neither is my daughter, but life is still good!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Just Lost It

Last week I got home from the grocery store and couldn’t find a little bottle of something that costs four bucks.  I checked everywhere including the receipt to make sure I bought it and didn’t leave the dang thing in my shopping cart.  Yep… it was on the list.  So where was it?

I went to garage and checked the grocery bags again… still not there.  As I put away my purchases, hubby offered to go back to the store and see if it was left out of the bag.  Before I finished, he called to say the clerk said she remembered putting it in a bag, but they gave us a replacement anyway.

By now, I had given up because it was becoming a colossal waste of time.  After he returned, my hubby rechecked the car and found the small bottle in one of the seats!  We figured it must have gotten stuck under the removable bottom of one of the bags and fell out as I tossed the reusable shopping bags back into the car. 

Embarrassing?  Yes, but I immediately took the replacement bottle back to the store and paid for it.  Our check-out lady was gone so I explained to another person what had happened.  She actually thanked me for being so honest!

As I left the store, I didn’t know what to say to being thanked for being honest.  I still think about that compliment and wonder what most people would have done.  For me there was no other option.