samedi 18 décembre 2010

A Fragile Peace

I'm brokering a peace 
with myself everyday,
negotiating the pitfalls 
of redundancy:

A warmed half apple 
sweetens my blood,
i'm up and moving, feeding the cat,
watering the plants:

They've outgrown their pots,
lying on sticky counters,
and I make a mental note
to buy new ones
once i can leave the house again
and face the bevy of stressed faces
dashing down the snow-white 
aisles that blind me,
once i can pick up the dried sticks, 
the tinder of this illness, 
and put them aside.

I might even make a bonfire
and invite the whole family over:
We can celebrate the coming year
the way we used to,
with a large red Le Creuset 
of my Christmas stew,
myriad guests and neighbor kids
running through the rooms,
the exchange of gifts
bought with hard-earned dollars
from the work I loved
before the crippling started;
but it started long before 
I was conscious of it.

As I sit down to rest
and gather that fragile peace,
I shuffle through the piles
of unread books:
the best sellers, healing
manuals, and chapbooks
of friends and confidants.
Perhaps this will be the year
that I join them, the year
I can concentrate long enough
to gather my manuscript
and submit it.
I'm making progress,
tapering off the narcotics,
writing poems for it.

I hear the water boil for
my umpteeth cup of tea,
and I'm again on my feet.
The cat straggles behind me
hoping for a treat:
I give her one, pulling
open the foil and dumping
a few squares on the floor:
I scratch her raised-up bottom
and she purrs, with that ruh-ruh-ruh
she makes while she's eating.

Back at the couch,
I scan the satellite guide for movies:
A Christmas Story, Miracle on
34th Street, The Lion in Winter.
I will begin them all before
Christmas comes, I'll lie
back on my pillows and fall asleep:
I'll dream the plots as if
I were writing them.

My daughter-in-law Vengie and me, Christmas '09 

5 commentaires:

enudelman a dit…

Love this, Laura. Delineation of momentum in the face of inertia, the way a sunset makes you smile and cry at the same time. I also like the way you set the poem in a familiar place and time. Blessings to you! Ed

Alakaline a dit…

Laura, this is very touching.. and the way you have depicted the recession with your usual fluidity and grace..


moigo a dit…

Laura, you capture the everyday in it's sweetness as well as the sense of being stuck in it as with old movies seen many times - "redundant". I see nostalgia for a time that was possible (then) as well as a longing for more. But you take what's there and navigate through it. (Life goes on even if we don't. LOL.) Love your poem. ooox

Shelli a dit…

Beautifully captured emotions. The redundancy is the hardest part of a chronic illness; the longing for what used to be is the next hardest. Christmas brings up the same feelings of inventory in myself.

Moineau En France a dit…

thank you to everyone for your comments. this poem meant a lot to me. i'm hopeful again for the first time in so many years. i want my life back! (don't we all?) joyeux noël to you and your family and friends. xoxoxoox