What Can I Say?

Menage

I’ve struggled trying to think of something to talk about here, with you. Maybe you haven’t noticed my silent self sitting in your living room at the end of your sofa with a pillow tucked behind my achy back listening to your stories. You’re always so fascinating. I start to open my mouth and then clamp it shut suddenly shy and reluctant to share. Even a full-bodied glass of red wine can’t coax me to speak. Continue reading

My Bouncing Boy

goldenguy

The Sé Cathedral of Evora, Portugal

 

Your stride is a rubber ball bouncing down the street.
You ribbed, “Scientists studied my feet to improve
rocket launchers, and they said my feet hear
heat and that’s why there’s air beneath my heels.”

On Gower Street that rotten urchin, Andy,
called you “Springs”. I expect he’s dead now,
little shit, or living in the Goulds with the missus,
his Lazy-boy recliner stick rubbed shiny,

the carpet farting mouldy biscuit and white bread
aroma from 40 years of spilled Black Horse lager.
Womp womp. But you – thank you! – bounced us
out of there.

“You’ll find your soul mate too late,” wasn’t true.
I knew the deal when I saw your naked feet, not
bionic or battery operated at all, just wide, muscles
at ease. They smelled like sweat and antifungal

cream. You exceeded the dream I never had and
after all these years you still bounce like that boy,
your head bob-bobbing above the rest, your
eternal spring our crow’s nest.

**

Written for d’Verse‘s prompt “thankfulness” and posted in open link night. Lovely work to be read there. Pop over and discover poets and poetry to suit all tastes.

 

Culture Encounter

We buckled ourselves into a small electric vehicle that looked like a motorized pedi-cab parked outside our Lisbon hotel. Joel, our driver and guide, expertly pulled into the traffic while our companions on the tour, Eric and Heidi – fellow Canadians – introduced themselves.

“We’re from T’rono. I’m a sports guy,” Eric said. “I go to Buffalo, New York regularly to see the Leafs play. Games are always sold out in Toronto. I travel all over the States following my favourite sports teams.”

The heavy traffic made it challenging to talk, for which I was grateful. I didn’t want to hear Eric list how many cities he’d been to on his tour de NHL/NFL/NBA*. I wanted to listen to Joel. But Eric and Heidi’s presence gave weight to a curious feeling I sometimes have when traveling – that of bouncing along in a tourist bubble where I know I’m in a foreign country but there are frequent reminders of home. Joel’s flawless English added to that sense. Was I really in Lisbon or was this a Disneyland ride? Maybe the tuk-tuk’s clear roof also contributed to my impression of floating through Lisbon, in the city but removed at the same time. Continue reading

Guilt Grout

Murphy's_Point_Sunrise

Morning at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park

“When did we ever lock our tent?” said my husband as we unrolled our sleeping bags on the sturdy pine bed.

True, I thought, but our tent didn’t have a door with a latch and the yurt we’d rented at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park did.

“Doors should be locked,” my city-girl brain reasoned, but I nodded.

We had returned alone to this campground after 14 years absence. The last time, our daughters were with us, then 6, 9 and 12 years old. That outing ended at dinner time in rain with a sputtering campfire and stone-cold, tinfoil wrapped potatoes. Continue reading

Disappearing Act

I want to be one of those shimmering
stick figures framed in my bedroom window
under glass as they meander to the point,
quivering in the glitter of sun on waves.

Their dog trots forward to the high and dry
marker buoy while the other two straggle,
appear, disappear, appear in the play of light.

They turn shoreward and I lose sight of them.
I pull on shoes still gritty from yesterday’s walk,
head for wave-shaped rocks, pick
through barnacle spotted tide pools,
around boulders covered in kelp hair,
gulping Fundy’s perfume – gull shit,
sun-roasted dulse, tidal mud –
crunch sand, crush shells.

Behind me today’s footprints
will soon wash away
in the rising tide. I scan
the shoreline for the
window and hail
myself, sparkled,
splintered, a
tidal creature
a piece
of it all.

Written in response to dVerse prompt: Descriptive Detail

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Modern Romance

No one ripped my bodice,
no kiss lifted
my right leg acutely,
nor did I ever tango
or tangle in slick Tide
washed sheets rapturously.

But once, a guy yanked
my hair and cold-cocked
me on the headboard.
I roused, laughed. What else
could I do? Of course,
I groaned and swooned,
played the sexual buffoon.

He came. I went
and showered, closed
the curtain.
No knives flashed,
no violins squealed.
Rose scented bubbles
trickled down
the drain.

man kissing woman on street

Photo credit: William Recinos – Unsplash (Acute leg lift)

Wisdom Wednesday

Getting old has a pretty bad rap, hasn’t it? It seemed the best anyone could ever say about it was getting old is better than death but not by much. But you know, turns out that’s not true. I mean, it’s been wonderful to be an older woman because as an older woman you get the opportunity to stop always straining to be the object of somebody else’s desire and you finally, finally get the chance to become the subject of your own life. And that’s when you can really, REALLY, start to live.

Mary Walsh, Canadian actress and comedian, March 31, 2019 Canadian Screen Awards

Image result for mary walsh

Showered

Charred letter fragments wafted into the tree canopy. Good riddance.

Vee smeared the ash residue on her hips while waiting for the outdoor shower to warm. She stepped in as a cloudburst spattered the wood deck. Cool rain mingled with scalding water. Never good at finding a happy medium, the truth was the torture of contrasts made her feel alive. Like ash on pale skin. Wrong and right.

Was this right – “You will love again the stranger who was yourself”? Could this sparkling stranger beaded with water be her? Maybe?

The shower erased the ash smudges.

Cattle and wind shushed through purple loosestrife and between clouds the sun winked at her. Cows’ lowing harmonized with grasses stroking their hides as they ambled to the adjacent field. She stretched out on the deck, sky-scoured, tuned in to their hymn.

“Hi. Nice to meet you, stranger.”

**

Written in response to a prompt from dVerse to use a line from a Derek Walcott poem called Love after Love. The line is “You will love again the stranger who was yourself.”