Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
O go away, September.
I'm tired of you already;
Tired of your last-holiday-of-summer,
The finality of Labor Day;
Tired of your first-day-of-Autumn
Tired of the back-to-school sales flyers
And the ads for sweaters and backpacks.
I'm tired of the cool fall nights
And the "good sleeping weather" rejoinders.
Tired of football, even, bright lights
And jarring tackles and rah-rah Friday nights.
I'm tired of "The leaves are starting to change!"
Observations, and any references to woolly bears
And their predictions.
Tired, too, of all the "last-of" things,
Last Trip to the Lake,
Last picnic, last swim, last boat ride.
Already I'm tired of thinking about
And all the winteriness ahead,
All the dead leaves and brown grass
I'm tired of missing sunny days and warm nights
And fresh tomatos on the vine.
Most of all of I'm tired of dreading
The Official Last Day of Summer,
Even as the mornings shine in my window later
And the evening enroaches earlier.
O come back, Summer!
Don't let September chase you away,
Don't leave me, don't go, please please please
Come back, O Summer! Don't -- go -- just -- yet --
Monday, August 24, 2009
I think I left my cell
In the pocket of my jeans
On the chair by the door.
Could you grab it?
Put on the kitchen table,
I'll get it later.
Or put it in your purse
And I'll get it
When we meet.
Answer all my calls, or not--
But remember if you call me
You'll have to answer, too.
Really, just turn it off.
And you know,
Even without the phone,
All day, I'll be thinking of you.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
So I've got some new vampire books to try and plenty of Diet in the cooler.
And passing through Chicago on Lake Shore Drive -- exhilarating:
The city draws us in with a deep breath / We tumble through it, awed / Made small, used up, exhaled
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
There's a satisfaction in being busy, in filling every moment of the day with work or activity, or whatever. Falling into bed and knowing that you couldn't have packed one more thing in.
But there's something about enjoying the remains of the day. Of just stopping, and watching what's left slip by. Letting things that maybe should be done, just wait. Just for tonight.
I've been out here, on the porch, since six or so--still full light then, and the neighborhood full too of busy-ness. Everybody coming home. Doors. Walks being taken, kids on bikes. Traffic in the distance. A dogs bark.
By myself 'til Greg gets home from baseball practice; he stays inside to watch the All Star game.
The book finished, I bring my computer outside. Summer and technology don't mix: A bug crawls in the keyboard. And doesn't come out. Even now, I'm wondering, Where is it? And what's it doing to my laptop?
I get my email. I spent too much time on Facebook accepting people's Mafia Wars requests and sending Farm Town gifts.
I talk to Angela, then Matt, on the phone, planning tomorrow--Harry Potter.
Then I Twitter. God forgive me.
But I'm not so plugged in I miss the day winding down. The light fades. There's a point when twilight comes--it was just a few minutes ago--when it's almost like a switch flips. I saw the darkness come. My screen glowed more brightly. Weird mix, isn't it?
A robin sat in the pine tree in the middle of the yard, and sang so beautifully.
I lamented that after a day spent inside, in a cubicle, the sun disappeared behind a flat, grey cloud--although just now, I could see a slash of red behind our neighbor's house. Lingering sunset.
I hear someone walking by. Shoes scuffing the cement. A man's voice. A child's whisper.
Surely I look ghostly, here on the porch, typing in the near-dark.
There's no breeze tonight, and kind of cool for July. And maybe the clouds mean rain on the way.
The fireflies have awoken. Are they drawn to my light?
Neighborhood's mostly dark now. I should go in--it's almost 10. But no mosquitoes have tried me yet, a rarity at this time of year. And I'm loathe to give up on this day--no matter, in a couple of hours, the day will have given up on me.
Firecrackers in the distance. Then it's so still.
Monday, July 6, 2009
I just finished read The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass series, which is a YA fantasy-type series with a Stephenie Meyers-recommended blurb on the cover. And it was fun, and I enjoyed them. BUT I could have done without the creepy "let's fall in love...oh wait you could be my brother" element in them. Really, with all the convolutions, why have THAT be the reason to keep the protagonists apart? Surely Cassandra Clare could have come up with something a little less icky.
I just started Turning Angel: A Novel by Greg Iles, a John Grisham-type writer, a nice, long paperback with a good recommendation from the NYT. And what do I find is its basis? A creepy love affair between a 40-year-old doctor and a high-school girl. Again...ick.
I won't blame this tendency on reading Twilight too much....
Friday, June 12, 2009
I'm glad i never lived next to the water
So I could never get used to the beach
And I'm glad I never grew up on a mountain
To figure out how high the world could reach
I love the miles between me and the city
Where I quietly imagine every street
And I'm glad I'm only picturing the moment
I'm glad she never fell in love with me
For some the world's a treasure to discover
And your scenery should never stay the same
And they're trading in their dreams for Explanations
All in an attempt to entertain
But I love the miles between me and the city
Where I quietly imagine every street
And I'm glad I'm only picturing the moment
I'm glad she never fell in love with me
The trick of love is to never let it find you
It's easy to get over missing out
I know the how's and whens, but now and then,
She's all I think about
I wonder how it feels to be famous
But wonder is as far as I will go
Because I'd probably lose myself in all the Pictures
And end up being someone I don't know.
So it's probably best I stay in Indiana
Just dreaming of the world as it should be
Where every day is a battle to convince myself
I'm glad she never fell in love with me
(by Jon McLaughlin)
They were both from Ohio, and moved to Indiana. Separately. But ultimately, together.
How strange is the Midwest in August. The summer has beat it up and worn it out and hung it out, already dry.
The lush green of June becomes a crinkly golden brown.
If August days hang heavy with heat and humidity, don't be fooled. Somewhere to the north lies a cold front that will swing through in the night, maybe with a thunderstorm. You'll get up the next morning and the air will be cool and the sky will be clear and suddenly you'll remember, just for a minute, how autumn feels.
Starts the harvest, then, in August, the corn and soy beans and the truck vegetables in gardens everywhere. Fields that were tilled brown just a blink ago in May or June, now mature, their growing seasons finished. Their time, completed.
And noisy, August is--the cicadas and locusts in full scream, protesting their too-short lives, protesting their time spent underground, yelling for somebody to love them. Here I am, in this tree, they scream. Come find me.
But oddly, even as summer slows down, a new kind of year starts up--all the school kids who believed in June that summer was forever, find that, indeed, time does fly, and August means school. A new grade, a new year, new teachers, new friends, new books.
Even for people without kids, who are years removed from the school year, August holds that dichotomy: Summer's over. But something new is beginning.
Monday, June 8, 2009
The fragments are just some conversations and, well, I guess, story pieces that have been knocking around my head for, well, several months.
They're like ear worms of the head--you know those songs that you just can't get out of your head? These fragments are just things I have fun with...and I can't quit thinking about them, but I can't seem to write them out in any coherent way, either in a word processor or even longhand.
So I'm blogging them. You know how that if you've got a song stuck in your head, you're supposed to listen to that song? I'm using the blog--one place I know I can write a little, if badly--to get read of these word worms.
I thought about Tweeting them--I do seem to be a person made to Twitter--but 140 characters are just not quite enough.
So you get them, and I'm sorry, kind of--not sure how interesting they are to read. But it's therapy for me.
And also, I discovered I was kind of tired of writing about real stuff--my observations of life as I know it falling short of blog-worthy.
So here's the made-up stuff, just for fun, just for awhile.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
She had hands full of coffee and files and lunchbag, plus her purse was slipping off her shoulder. She feared for the coffee, especially--Monday morning would be very bad, indeed, with no coffee.
Grace managed to slip in the back door of the office with coffee still upright; she walked down the hall to the little breakroom where she could stash her stuff and hang her jacket up; and take a minute to sip the cooling caffeine.
Then Ginny walked in.
"Girlfriend! Get your ass out here! Fast! You gotta see this!" Ginny, as usual, was dressed impeccably. She was a tiny, thin 50-something, who, at first glance, seemed the kind of person who might work out every day, eat health food, belong to Junior League and shop at Talbot's.
Looks lie. Ginny was a cigarette-smoking, junk-food addicted, motorcycle-riding, discount-store shopping maniac.
"What? Not the big Amish family with pink eye again!" One day last week, a family of 15 had tied up the waiting room and every exam room for hour. The little kids had hidden Grace's stethoscope and threw Q-tips everywhere.
"No! No. BETTER. He's the cutest thing ever!" Ginny grabbed Grace's wrist and drug her towards the glass-windowed reception area.
"A puppy? Did somebody bring their dog? Is it Mr. Tilton?" Grace's old neighbor, who got his blood sugar tested regularly, had a rescue greyhound that came in with him.
"NO. Oh, Gracie! This may be the guy for you," Ginny whispered, as they got closer to the front office.
"Ah, not again, Ginny! You are NOT fixing me up with a patient. I'm not interested. I'm. Just. Not. And you know it." Grace had made no secret about her disinterest in men since (as they called it in the office) The Blake Incident.
"Gracie, this is the best-looking man we've ever treated. Well, except he's looking a little green right now. And we think he might throw up in the waiting room. But he's so--his hair--his skin, even a little green-- He's not from Grabill, that's for sure, we think might be Italian -- Gracie, just look." Ginny turned her around and finally shut up.
Grace looked through the glass, into the square, chair-ringed space, with its kid's books and toys in one corner, the rack with magazines in another, the big ottoman in the middle, the window to the parking lot right across from her.
He sat below the window, very still, hands on thighs. He must be very tall, Grace thought; the chair looked too small for him--his legs, in faded jeans, stretched out towards the ottoman. He had curly black hair, big, loose curls that hadn't seen a brush anytime today. His skin--greenness aside--was a gorgeous mocha color, somewhere between golden and brown, a contrast to the white golf shirt that may have been slept in. He might have been asleep. Or about to throw up.
And Ginny was right. He was one handsome man.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
It was the time of early morning when to the north and west the lake and sky ran together but to the east came morning.
The lake was as calm and quiet as it would be all day. Later the wind would kick up and the little whitecaps would break on the beach in a quick rhythm, but right all he could hear was a single gull crying from the distance.
The sand was cool under his fingers and he leaned back on his elbows, breathing slowly, watching the sun turn the sky in to something new. It was easy to imagine, here on the beach so early, that Cedar Point was still marsh and woods and wild animals. Even if it hadn't been that for a very long time.
He didn't hear her as she walked across the sand; only when she knelt behind him and put her hands on his shoulders, saying, "Hi," softly in his ear, only then did he smile and feel the day really begin.
"Hey," he said, and reached up to take her hand and turned around to look at her.
As she looked into his eyes--one so softly green, the other gray as the lake--she too smiled, even as she looked at him and wondered, once again, just where the hell this beautiful man had come from.
Because he sure wasn't from Ohio.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I had another wind experience last Thursday. I wore a skirt, rather full, to work, and on returning to the office after lunch, a gust caught it and gave me a Marilyn Monroe moment, only without the nice legs or sexiness.
From one of my favorite poets:
by Robert Louis Stevenson
I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass
Oh wind, a blowing all day long,
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all
Oh wind, a blowing all day long!
Oh wind, that sings so loud a song!
O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!
Friday, May 1, 2009
And I wonder how often one can get called for jury duty, because it certainly seems I get called often. Somebody must like me at the courthouse.
And I fill out the form, wary of perjury charges as I answer, are there any reasons you could not serve on a jury? The inference being, besides the reason you just don't want to.
And I forget about the questionnaire in the hurly burly of the everyday.
Until another letter comes, this one a summons, commanding me to a time and place I don't really want to be. Because jury duty might mess up my life.
No matter, Wednesday morning finds me sitting forlornly in a stiff chair in a wing of the Courthouse, me and 100 or so other resentful souls, voters and car owners and taxpayers, all.
Waiting for the lady to talk to us, waiting to watch the oh-so-precious DVD about how lucky we Hoosiers are to be called to jury duty, waiting for the bailiff to come get us. My stomach sinking when I hear that this is not the usual one-day trial but rather a two-day affair. Lucky us, huh. My stomach sinking further when they tell us to line up in the order they call our juror numbers, my number being three, and discovering that in my new universe, three is the new one. I'm first in line. It can't be good.
Bailiff Steve leads us up the marble steps, some among us vowing the take the elevator the next time (not me). We wait a moment outside the double wooden doors; when they open, for the first time I hear the words, "All rise," and we file into the courtroom, where I'm told to lead the way into the jury box. At that moment, I become juror number one, and I will remain so for two days.
Then Judge Gull begins instructing us, and we commence two days of being talked at. Two days of the judge telling us what to expect, what was expected of us, what was going to happen. Two days of the attorneys first questioning us, weeding us out, looking at our questionairres, conferring about us, sending some of us home, and retaining others -- me included -- in the hard wooden seats.
Seating the jury takes all morning. Since I'm in the first group, I can spend the rest of the morning observing: the beautifully restored courtroom; the judge, whom I've seen on TV news many times; the young bailiff, who'll be our liaison for the next two days; the prosecuting attorney, a lovely young woman with a quick smile and animated personality; the defendant's attorney, a pleasant-looking man with the most deadpan, monotone voice I've ever had the misfortune to listen to; finally, the defendant, a young, African-American man with wide eyes, cropped hair, and a calm demeanor. Though his foot taps incessantly
Just before lunch, when the extra jurors are dismissed (The lucky dogs! I think--dismissed to get back to work or home or shopping or otherwise on with their lives), we twelve are given even more instructions, then excused for lunch. Just before I leave, I notice the clock high on the back courtroom wall--it seems to be working, but it has the entirely wrong time, hours and minutes. I soon learn, the courtroom has its own time.
I've been without cell phone all morning, since they are not allowed in the Courthouse, fighting the desire to text somebody to let them know what's happened, but I've already warned them: If the phone doesn't ring, it's me. And I'm on the jury.
At lunch break, it cool and rainy outside, downtown busy at midday. The world has continued while we've been shut up inside the courtroom and it's a little jarring to be back in it. I run to the parking garage and get in my car and start calling: I won't be back to work. I won't be home. I won't be going to the Vera Bradley sale with my sisters. Don't call me, I won't have my phone. I don't know when I'll be home. I can't talk about the case. Gotta go.
So here I am downtown by myself for the first time in 15 years. Deli 620 on Calhoun looks promising, me having a soft spot for delis since a New York trip a couple years ago. A great surprise of the day, little Deli 620 -- if it didn't have the crowded-out-the-door frenzy of NYC, it was funky and welcoming and the egg salad, chunky and smooth and delicately tasty. The tomato basil soup with a little peppery kick -- even better.
By 12:45 I'm back in the jury room with my 11 new best friends, enjoying our first awkward silence. But we're a bunch of friendly, open Hoosiers, and the silence doesn't last long. If the weather is a safe subject to start out with, we soon segue to our observations of the judge, the lawyers, the accused, and how lucky we are to doing our civic duty. Or not.
Bailiff Steve soon calls us to enter, and for the second time when we hear the words, "All rise," it's because we twelve are coming in.
Our afternoon begins, with more instructions and opening statements, and we begin to get to know the case we'll be asked to make judgement on -- the judge's calm explainations, the attorney's carefully crafted presentations, the list of witnesses we'll listen to. I've brought my Diet Coke along with me and luckily there's a little nook I can hide it in down by my feet. Sipping it sereptitously makes me feel a little more normal--I'm in such a strange place, a room full of strangers, being asked to concentrate on -- what I'm beginning to realize -- a decision that will affect not just the life of the accused, but also his girlfriend and children and who knows who else.
During a break, when we're told not to leave the jury room, if we leave it has to be all together, our judicial bonding continues. We're allowed to talk about the case among ourselves in this little, stuffy room--not much historic in here--and we do. And even at this early point, it's possible to discern how some among our little group are leaning.
We don't know each other's names--no one asks, no one tells. We could, if we wanted to, exchange names, but we don't. We laughingly refer to each other as our jury numbers.
The jury room has windows. It's still raining, the day goes on without us. In my car, my cell phone rings, I'm sure. Somewhere the stock market is going up, or down. Someone is sick with swine flu. Chrysler is bankrupt, or not. Inside this room, even as we laugh about the Attorney B's monotone, or complain how cold the courtroom is, we know we are responsible for just one thing. Is the young man sitting before us innocent, or guilty?
The afternoon isn't. I mean, I knew it was Wednesday afternoon but it could have been any time, there in that domed, wood-paneled room, full of voices and evidence and "overruled" and "sustained" and questions and answers and our chair creaking. They are not comfortable chairs.
We hear from the victim, we hear from the officers, from the detective, who seems bored and arrogant and distant. We hear from the defensive, alibi-providing girlfriend, the not-very-helpful pal-in-jail, the scared nurse. We hear from everyone except the police dog, who can track but can't talk, and the accused himself.
We hear a story you could read in the paper of any city in any state, not a new crime, not an unusual or creative crime, thankfully, not a violent or deadly crime. Just a small-time break-in, in a old Fort Wayne neighborhood that has seen better days. A crime that scared the bejesus out of the victim, that left him bereft of his laptop and Palm Pilot, a crime that seems to have bored the officers to near death.
At six we're finally through the witnesses, and we're allowed to go. Go, but don't talk about the case. Be back at nine a.m.
The grey day seemed beautiful, real if raw, and I could feel time moving back into its normal path. When I had my cell phone back in my hand I felt almost normal, and immediately reconnected with everyone looking for me. And the evening's freedom stretched before me, a pitcher of margaritas at Bandito's promised, a lively dinner with family and visiting sisters, an evening at Jefferson Pointe with the ladies, lots of laughter making it easy to forgot that tomorrow, my vote would help chose the road a young man would follow. Well--no. He chose his road. Maybe we the jury were red light, green light.
At the end of the day, I was exhausted, and my sleep deep and dreamless. I wondered if the defendant was dreamless, as well.
Thursday and nine a.m. Still raining, but warmer. We're back in the jury room, we 12, more familiar with each other now. Smiles come easier. We're asked to give lunch orders. We've heard the evidence, now, and our conversation is more pointed and specific. And, we know our job is near to complete.
Bailiff Steve calls us in. A witness is recalled and some clarifications made. Then the closing arguments, the lively lady lawyer, the deadpan quiet guy. Both of them tell us what to think and how to vote.
And the judge, again, reading us several pages of instruction, telling us just what we need to know of the law to get our job done. Just barely enough.
Then it's time back to The Room, we 12 stranger-friends. It's us, the law, and a two-sided story in the room. An innocent-til-proven-guilty defendant. A scared victim. And the responsibility.
I volunteer to be foreperson. Mostly what it means is I count the votes. There's plenty of leadership in this group, several confident voices. A few with quiet questions. A couple silent.
The discussion begins, a more pointed continuation of the talking we've done previously. Now it's for keeps. We go over the main points, we list what's circumstance and what's concrete. We make everyone contribute. We take a first vote. We send a question or two out to the judge, and wait for answers. We go over evidence. Voice raise and fall. But always we remember he is first innocent. Always we remember it is the state who much prove the guilt. Always we remember, we are the ones who will be going home when the last vote is taken.
We take another vote. It's closer. We concentrate on the areas that seem the most questionable, and talk about what is reasonable doubt. Can we ever know? I think about moral relativity,something we often talk about at work. Is reasonable doubt somehow related to moral relativity? I don't know.
We go over the judge's instructions, and comment on how helpful they are.
One of us take notes and papers into the attached anteroom, and has a quiet moment.
When she's back, we talk a little more, and vote again. This time, it's unanimous.
As foreperson, I fill out the form, marking the appropriate place, signing my name. My scrawl, now filed away in the depth of some legal file, somewhere.
I knock on the door to the courtroom, our signal we need something, or are ready. And I let Bailiff Steve know.
Takes a little while for the courtroom to be as ready as we are. Judges, lawyers, officers, all scattered, I guess. We the jury are relieved, ready to go home, yet we'll all be happy when this last responsibility is passed. One last job.
Finally we're brought in. Even in this dead-air courtroom, there's a little electricity, and I feel ... a little power. We know, they don't. All rise. Look at us.
The judge asks me if we've reached a verdict, and I say, "yes." She asks for the form. I hand it to Bailiff Steve, and he hands it to the judge.
She reads its aloud, in a clear, calm voice.
The newly convicted drops his head in his hands, the most emotion he's shown in two days. The defending attorney puts his arm around him, says something, shakes his head, as if in disbelief. Surely, he's not surprised at this outcome?
If the prosecuting attorney smiles, I don't see her.
I'm watching the other table.
The judge asks if the attorneys want us 12 polled; Mr. Monotone, also coming alive here at the last, says yes.
But our minds have not changed, not even any of us who may have had difficulty with the decision, the "reasonable doubt," the weight of the responsibility.
That's it, mostly; we're thanked, and told to wait a moment in the jury room, as the judge wishes to speak to use. We don't see what happens after we file out; if the newly convicted is escorted out, if the lawyers talk, if the judge speaks to anyone.
For a last time, we wait together in the airless jury room, make a couple jokes. But I think we're all a little shaken by the reaction of the defendant, the hand over the eyes, the droop of the shoulders.
We're ready to go home.
Our civil duty, our "lost" days -- done. We're free.
He's not. Maybe he never was -- although I can only guess. His life before we came together in the historical Allen County Courthouse is as much a mystery to me as the vast machinations of the law itself.
The judge comes in, and thanks us. A few comments about the proceedings, and then, we're free to go. Some bolt out.
Others linger. The prosecuting attorney has asked to speak to us, to clarify a question we had asked. I join the conversation. A few details are cleared up, and I learn a little more about those whose lives we've affected. I feel better about the decision. And worse about these lives of these young people, lives lost, maybe. Probably.
I've lost -- donated! -- two days to the judicial system, because I'm a voter and a taxpayer and a car driver, a "responsible citizen". I can't imagine being anything else. Yea, the great, lucky me.
What have we lost? What has Brandon lost? What did he never have, or ever imagine? And how could I do anything, except find him guilty? Guilt was all I could give him.
Brandon, I'm so sorry. And I'm not sure why.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
And then I found this video on another blog, and I'll never hear it in quite the same way, ever again.
The backstory from YouTube:
"The PS22 Chorus of 2009 has some fun with Coldplay's Grammy nominated song Viva La Vida, the amazing new hit single from the album of the same name." And more about them on PS22 blog>>
Monday, April 20, 2009
The usual lunch crowd. Long line at the drive-thru, wasting time and gas. Short line inside. The normal hubbub of conversation, fries beeping, orders, registers. Ice rattling near the pop machines.
Young moms with little kids not eating their nuggets. Senior citizen couples with coffees. A few office types like us. Some construction guys. Burgers and fries at noon on a dreary Monday.
Michelle and I sit at a bar-height table and chat about weekends and ballgames and work and Monday things.
The TV is on Fox news and I try to ignore it. Because.
There to my right, a gentleman by himself. A "senior." Cup of coffee. Burger. Fries. On the table in front of him, untouched. He's comfortably dressed, and if I had to guess his line of work, I'd say, retired farmer, but really? Who knows.
Like I said, he's alone.
And as I watch, he takes a breath, and folds his hands, and bows his head.
And suddenly, McDonald's seems silent, the sacred somehow finding its way in and sitting with us, as it so often does, unawares.
I watch him pray. He's perfectly still.
For a long minute he prays. And he looks so intense, yet so peaceful, here in McDonald's, asking for God's blessing on these burgers, these fries, and what else? For a wife who should be here, and is not? For a child, a grandchild, himself? Or perhaps, even, for those sitting alongside him?
Indeed, it's not my business, who or what he prays for, and specious of me to guess. Yet how could I not add just a small thought to his, and His? For whatever, there in the busy-ness of a Monday noon at McDonald's.
As the gentleman moves to begin his lunch, so I finish mine. And the day begins again.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Shut my eyes and remember the day and forget it, all at once. The dark a familiar friend, a door shut between the day's hurly-burly and night's quiet surcease.
Then through the window, softly as smoke, a siren sings and then another and a third, creating a concert of alarm, and I open my eyes but don't see anything.
And the sound gets louder and closer, a crescendo of warning and emergency, until it fills the room and chases away the quiet and the calm, and suddenly I fear the sirens come for me.
Yet still it's dark, and I can't see.
And the siren sings louder, louder--
Then crests and begins to fall, begins fading back into the night, and, I know, has passed me by.
Quiet and calm will come again, here.
Yet the sirens are drawn to somewhere, something: A frantic call, a sudden accident, a flames? Somewhere someone is scared, is hurt, is waiting, is wondering, is dying. In a truck cabin, a radio barks, a heart races, time stops. Headlights and horns rip through the night, a race to whoever, whatever, needs those sirens, that help.
In someone else's bedroom, a phone rings. Tonight, someone else will get up and go out to face that dark, noisome night and whatever it holds.
I turn over and let the superficial silence fill me, sleep closer than it should be, comforted by the easy way the sirens of the night rode on. This night.
Yet before I fall, a song from the afternoon whispers in my ear, a soft reminder:
"She got the call today
"One out of the gray
"And when the smoke cleared
"It took her breath away
"She said she didn't believe
"It could happen to me
"I guess we're all one phone call from our knees." (Mat Kearney,Closer to Love)
Monday, April 13, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
I don't believe in spring
Not yet, not when there's frost
On the car I forgot to bring in last night.
I don't believe in spring
When the weekend's forecast shows snow,
And the furnace will again kick on, endlessly.
No, it's hard to believe in spring
When I'm grabbing a winter coat from the closet
And regretting I took my gloves from the pocket.
And where was spring this morning,
When I woke in the dark, shivering,
Thinking of warm coffee and abandoned blankets?
O spring, cruel phantom,
Vernal equinox who?
You've fooled those birds I heard singing
When I opened the front door this morning,
Before even the sun got up.
Although the sun seems confused --
So warm on my back, and
Forgetting t to set until long into evening.
I've warned the trees in my yard--
Budding rapidly - -that this
Is something they'll regret. To no avail.
You go ahead. Get all excited and open your windows.
Not me. I won't be falling for that errant warm day
Because I don't believe in spring.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Last week, I was surfing channels and stopped dead at The Smithsonian Channel because I heard the announcer say, "Coming up next: The Monkees."