The room is empty, devoid of students. Chow in 100 comes early and always during literacy class. Through the door I watch two female deputies work the tower, a raised area in the center quad of three large dorms that house thirty women each, and my classroom. Food carts squeak. Trustees push plastic trays through portals in locked massive, metal doors. Women wave and mouth verboten greetings through heavy windows laced with wire mesh. Phones ring. Walkie-talkies squawk. Voices loud – laughing, scolding, praising, joking.Continue Reading
Reading something recently, the piece stated the author was from Belarus. Something in my gut said Slavic (the woman’s surname possibly), but I could no more picture or remember a country called Be-lar-us. My last formal geography lesson was 1967 when Russia was the United Soviet Socialist Republic, and all those little countries were clumped together in a big pink blob on the map.
My memory on a good day is like Swiss cheese. I sit on the aged block of yellowing, curdled milk and contemplate the holes. In comparison, my engineer husband has a perfectly symmetrical mind, filled with boxes, stacked for easy sorting. Like an aging Alice, I jump into one of the holes and ask my spouse, “Where’s Belarus?”Continue Reading
There’s a party at the river this morning. Looking out my window, you might not see it. The cool November air swirls a mist above the warm sienna water, and an eerie morning glow dawns through the silence.
I’ve been remembering my family and friends, saying prayers for loved ones, living and dead. The holiday season with its television worldview sometimes spills onto my life, gravy smeared across the red and green pressed tablecloth. But my heart drums a back-beat of blessings today. I begin to sway to the melody of memories and laughter. A few tears mix it up, as the sax wails its mournful notes. Gratitude catches the upbeat, and my soul fills with harmony.
There’s no need for annoying conversation at this party. My ten-year-old housecoat is the perfect outfit. No one cares about my bed-hair or chipped nails, witty comments, or if spinach dip is lodged between my teeth. What a great party. Thank you, Lord. You really know how to throw ‘em.
“piquant.” Dictionary.com. 2016. http://dictionary.com (19 January 2016).
“Always be a poet, even in prose.”
― Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost