from the hills down south

today i met an older lady with a dazzling smileand lively, mischievous eyesshe was having a good day, not hearing so wellbut otherwise pleasant and enjoying our talkshe grew up in the hills down southwhere french names are pronounced as spelled(as with the “x” on st. croix)and where her family is buried in a churchContinue reading “from the hills down south”

thanksgiving in a time of covid

In Tove Jansson’s Moominland Midwinter, Moomintroll accidentally wakes from hibernation too early. Accustomed to sleeping through winter, he is shocked to find the world shrouded in snow, his garden entirely unfamiliar. “All the world has died while I slept,” he thinks. “It isn’t made for Moomins.” Feeling terribly lonely, he goes to the bedroom andContinue reading “thanksgiving in a time of covid”

apocalypse now?

we live these dayswith swabs up our nosesmasks covering our facesalcohol dripping from handsthat hesitate to shake other handswe measure our distancingwe balk at embracingwe’re worried about breathingfor god’s sake and everyone’s an expertbut nobody knowswhat the hell is happeningor why or whenwhatever we think “normal” iswill someday reappearall i can say is thatevery morningContinue reading “apocalypse now?”

velma lay dying

velma lay dyingreaching toward heavensmile in her eyeswith lovers surrounded as velma lay dyingelvis was watchingdown from his picturewaiting in heaven as velma lay dyinglewis, her husbandshyly would touch hershake his head sadly as velma lay dyingteresa, her daughtertold her it’s okaysomeday we’ll join you as velma lay dyingcurtains and knick-knackstwo chairs with afghansframed herContinue reading “velma lay dying”

walk among the trees in fall

a friend from my past who i saw at a reunionsomeone i used to laugh and play sports withgrimaced when i told him what i doa chaplain in hospice, i said, when he asked meand immediately he had no wordsjust this look of distaste so strikingas though i were some unclean israelitewho had brought death’sContinue reading “walk among the trees in fall”

midwinter

in long and deep midwinterdreams of spring ariseof fulsome brooks and fragile budsof warmer winds and skiesthat, moaning, pour the anguished tearsof childbirth on the landand ‘midst the muddy, messy mucktransform the slender strandsweaving a carpet ‘neath the treeswhich don their own green gownsand fill the space below the bluelike dancers all aroundwho hear the callContinue reading “midwinter”