WHERE HOPE FINDS ME and WALTZ OF WORDS inspired by assigned poem titles.
BITTER WINTER written to the form of a "luc bac" and inspired by Dick Francis (a favorite author) and Ralph Waite's death.
WHERE HOPE FINDS ME
My parents bartered choices for a girl.
Should she be Bonnie Blue to Scarlett born?
Or should she sing and dance with Mickey Mouse,
A Billie Jean, Annette—no, wait. Darlene
My name reveals my age with no more clues.
For middle name, eternal values loomed
Perhaps choose Faith, for mountains rise to climb
Long-suff’ring Charity presides o’er all
Make Hope her name, where faith and love cross roads,
Her map to surety written in her name.
Within, strands of mem’ry dangle
Frayed cords touch and tangle
Plus and minus wrangle to shock
Dreams, words, and friends may mock
Pounding soul against rock to break
Chips fall away and ache.
Love called my heart awake, then left
Ugly truth caused the theft.
Hope hides and I’m bereft, tears shed
And now Ralph Waite is dead.
A WALTZ OF WORDS
Dining tables assigned, the same four practice day after day
With Wanda, our dance takes no form
Here, she opens an eye. Yesterday, she said “no,” outraged.
The food choice brings her voice out of hibernation.
Today, her spoon scoops all bites into her mouth
Tomorrow her hand will fall into the plate, painting it as green as peas
For Peggy, we tap dance to bring words to life.
I say, “The fish tastes good today.”
Virginia starts her favorite song. I don’t like fish. My father. . .”
I interrupt, unwilling to dance to the same song.
Peggy touches my sleeve. “What are you talking about?
“The fish,” I say.
“I don’t know anything about fish.” She brings a flaky bite to her mouth.
Virginia and I dance on. . .we know
humor . . .pain . . .love. . .loneliness
For a magical moment, we mesh,
Our words floating above the table in a perfect three-step.