Caffeine, please do the work–
sleepless, aching head means
my walk is eggshell
calm and careful as this morning.
My pen’s running dry—oh, god,
I just can’t enter the chattering
house. I’d rather taxi
solo on this runway, hide
in my fabricated solitude—
eking out the last ink.
Under the surface a bass
chasing minnows creates concentric
ripples out of nowhere. The movement
draws me out of my pain and so
I’m here for the silver flash of power
into the tranquil air. I’m holding
still on the edge, no inclination
to enter. I propose to spend
these early hours avoiding
my imbalance. So given to
interpretation, searching for patterns
—eureka, this caused that.
My illness forces me to take apart
my life’s weaving, discarding the threads
past saving, going back to the garden,
growing a more disciplined life
rooted in nourishment, soul food
essentials. Daily practice.
Baby steps. Yesterday a goofy
pitbull pup loped into the yard,
leaped into our wading pool.
We burst out laughing, feeding him
into a frenzy until his powerful
untrimmed nails drew blood and
shrieks—fear and pain and rage
even after I scooped up my grandson,
the dog still jumping, scratching with
bighearted painful idiocy. Now
pairs of birds are trickling into
the peace. Their calls seem muted
just to the level I can hold.
All the signs and portents explicit.
Sit and dive deep for the tectonic
shifting. My screaming three-year-old
inside sees the crack
in the crypt where she’s buried
alive. Carry me, face the perpetrator
with my blood still dripping,
then clean and patch me
with big bandages while we explore
the dark-feeling surge. Rejoice
at the powerful opening of terrified
child-screams. Release all the aftermath
hidden below the surface.