The old woman (who once was beautiful) pondered what to say to the young, hypothetical, and inevitably naive bride and groom.
After 30 years it came to her–allow yourself one
Beyond this rickety and impoverished union
With the One who made the sun
I think about the citizens of fictional worlds I have lived in, how much like real people they disappointed me upon sequel or adult reflection, Atticus Finch a racist? Quentin a bit of a coward? Jem gone when Scour and I both needed him the most.
Dill, who I loved so dang much as a child, turning to the ethically ambiguous lost-boy Truman. And don’t get me started on Holden Caulfield! When I was eight I thought he was a fascinating older brother, at sixteen he seemed a soulful friend, and now he is just JD, impersonating a child, which feels narcissistic and creepy.
So I try to see my own fictional clan. Bits and pieces of them are vivid and quite wonderful. But I could not stand to see them become me with a bit of makeup and shading. I want them to have a life of their own, and be someone my kids would like to hang out with. People who could heal our wounds.
Community. That mirage just beyond reach. We, the children in the woods, making a path of bread when all the stones are gone.
I got a salacious email from a lady named Gladys Something. I say “something” to protect all the innocent Gladii out there, who are, I must add, spry old ladies. I did not do the hard stats, but the soft ones suggest that if your name is Gladys Something you may live well over 100 years.
Unless there is chicken-n-waffle scandal involved…
The day before the storm the dogs ruled the yard leaving the small prophets to fend and worry.
Grieving, I am afraid, the loss of such fragile things, a nest, the children, promise of safety, when there never was much.
I am so sad you want to end the life of your child. Please let me know if I can help you, help change your mind. Help you and your little one….including sponsorship.
By some inexplicable quirk of middle-age
I see the couple clearly-
Silent in the breakfast nook except for
the clink of spoons on ceramic bowls
a regular crunch of cereal
They two alone in a room filled with light
the gaze of the other
Because of ordinary seduction,
The old-ass Latin kind,
Where there is no longer even the lingering whiff of sexual connotation
Only the word itself in primal
Adrift, led astray, removed
Soldiers pointed down the wrong path
or lovers lost at sea
Where the simplest accident of seduction
Could drive this tiny boat off course
In an endless and unforgiving