memorial for a brilliant woman

Thursday, February 16, 2006

No, I'm not- it's just a poem...

edited version (old one below) 2-26


Wrung out, squint-eyed
she is completely given over
to the needs of others, she is
succor, drained one dollar bill
after another, shallow breath
slipping into plain brown,
she wants it quiet, no music.

If anger simmers, she is
frustrated fury, delusional,
convinced they talk about her
every move- when she's good...
but on an off night, she ends up
alone in her car at the bookstore
parking lot, eating onion rings.

The voices in her head whine, click
and tally the hours spent stamping fires,
the conspiracy to downplay damage,
she has shake the mulberry trees
to reckon memory, reach deep,
smell saltwater and the dinkum oil,
tell the story true as it can be told.

Check your messages

Sometimes when I think about
dying, I'm pretty sure I'd like to
leave a message on your machine
instead of calling 911 because
I'd rather say a few pertinent things
for you to pass on than involve
a total stranger who's doing a job.

Or my kids, who would be frightened
then burdened with guilt wondering
why they couldn't have helped in time,
my husband who wouldn't want to hear
first-hand, unless he's had a beer or two,
or a lesser friend who'd think I was crazy,
hang up on me and feel bad later.

I like the gruff way your voice sounds,
the crisp 'leave a message' command,
the fact I know you'd listen twice, at least,
trying to decide if I was serious before you
called back, checking gingerly with whoever
answers the phone, making general small talk,
hoping you didn't have to ask outright.

Of course, I'd risk the chance you answer
yourself, making me decide on the spot
what I was compelled to reveal, my requests
or my condition? Am I really close to the end?
Or could I put the whole thing off until I'm sure
you're out, unavailable for a boost instead
of an implied blessing, permission to be off.

1 comment:

nbvabch said...

Hey Shann,

check out what I have to say about writers and poets (and yeah some other stuff) on my down for the Kurt Cobain post.

Cheers! nan