Oddments

In search of story


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April 7.21: Coping

Until the next pandemic

we’ll pack our masks away;

I’ve no idea when,

but it will be some day.

They’ll go into the drawer

inscribed The Fibber McGee,

where souvenirs and remnants

await next century.

When comes that barefaced day

we hug with glad impunity,

when everyone is safe

with ’round-the globe immunity,

I think that I might feel

a twinge of slight regret

and miss that unloved sign

of one-for-all mindset.

I’ll miss the muffled greeting of

“Hey, I like your mask!”

acclaimed by passerby

I didn’t even ask.

And then I must return

to pre-pandemic place

where no one ever hails me

with “Hey, I like your face!”

 

 

 


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March 27.21: Coping

Hope is the thing with feathers,

according to the poet;

this wind-coiffed matted stalwart

is adamant to show it.

Waterlogged, bedraggled,

moroser by the hour,

he watches plashy pond,

indomitable and dour.

But persevering, patient,

resolute in attitude,

it isn’t raining rain, he says,

it’s raining fortitude.

I salute unpretty Hope,

my admiration bestirred:

it may be the thing with feathers,

but it’s surely a tough old bird.

 

With thanks to Emily Dickinson.

And to the purists I make no apologies for “moroser.”

It’s a poem. Ergo, poetic license.

 


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March 16.21: Coping

YESTERDAY

The gods of winter rose

against the fragile spring,

roared and raged in angst,

spat ice on everything.

The lilac buds all shivered,

the ducks could barely quack;

spring appeared forsaken,

winter had come back.

But winter gods, those bullies,

with eyes so cold and shifty,

know their days are numbered:

today it will be 50!

 

 


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February 28.21: Coping

Sameness.

Lines that dwindle

in a finite distance

but return, yawning,

retreat again,

pulling walls with them.

The boomerang of the hour

just spent,

but back again,

to be lived again.

The thread unraveling,

longer each day,

hapless,

dragged through life’s leavings.

Eyes numb,

ears empty but for sounds of

the breathing self,

chewing,

the scraping of a plate.

World goal:

to live without touching.

We are safe from COVID —

hooray.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

 


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February 22.21: Coping

 

Today, dear reader, is George Washington’s birthday. It makes me think of old friendships. No, I didn’t know George.

There are four of us — Ann, Donna, Bill and I — who have our birthdays in consecutive months starting in November and ending today. I have declared — and therefore it is so — that we don’t turn the next age until the last one does. That would be Bill, the intrepid photographer. We don’t turn until he does, and then we all turn together. There is no way he gets to be the youngest.

Ann and I went to kindergarten, grade school, high school together, and ended up in the same college sorority. Bill and Donna and I have a friendship forged in homeroom and in the high school parking lot at 3:00AM as we gathered for “away meets” for speech and debate. The four of us grew up together. I am beyond grateful that we are growing old together.

So today I think about ancient friendships. Although we often make wonderful friends along life’s way, sometimes we are lucky enough to have friends who knew our parents, who knew the homes we grew up in. I marvel at this often, but particularly on February 22.

I lift a celebratory mug of coffee in salute to ancient friendships, and I wish them for you, dear reader.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg,

and to Mama Rosa’s, Hampton, VA.


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February 18.21: Coping

One of these is my muse, dear reader. Standing stodgily and stupidly on the frozen pond. Hanging out with someone else’s muse, no doubt, both determined to be useless.

So, uninspired, I will write about what is.

Snow and more snow. Cold and more cold. A world in pandemic, a country in turmoil, and, at the moment, with millions battered by the weather with no power, and some without running water.

Monday the winter storms barreled into Indiana. In my best swaddled shmoo look, I shoveled the first wave of snow, which was fluffy and light, and, having congratulated myself on that, I decided to start the car and let it run a few minutes. I was walking in the garage when one of my booted left feet found something to slip on and went its own way. I grabbed the car and went down in one of those memorable slow-motion falls. It was not a serious fall. Except. Except that my cheekbone hit the rim of a plastic flowerpot. The crack heard ’round the world.

This in a monster winter storm. I was scared.

My son was able to get me to Urgent Care the next day. Nothing is broken, but if you are picturing an old lady with half her face the color and shape of an eggplant, you’d be close.  An occasional Tylenol is in order.

The past twelve months have taken a toll on us all. We’d be foolish to understate that. Everything that happens to us right now hits hard and cuts deep. We all wish our muses would bring us magic words to make things better for each other. Failing that, we can only write about being human.

 

 

 

 


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February 12.21: Coping

ODE TO DICHOTOMYSugar snow

makes winter sweet

if you like clompy boots

on both your feet,

if you like glassy streets

to slip and slide

while white-knuckled driving

petrified,

if you like your toes

and fingers too

stinging and reddened

to shades of blue,

if you like clothes like blubber

on arctic whale

just to go out

to get the mail,

if you like north winds,

those icy bullies,

roaring through layers

of itchy woollies,

if you like shovel kink

in your lower back

and a quiver in

sacroiliac,

but if you like a big sniff

of cookies oven-hot,

the company of stew

bubbling in a pot,

the softness of thick flannel,

most comfy of old friends,

the search for words and meanings

that never ever ends,

the pencil, pen, and mug

 to draw and write and sip,

your sugar snow, like mine,

is introvert’s catnip.