Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The End

The End

I check
the mail,
see an envelope
from my sister,
and know it's the end.

I wait
to open it,
drive to the beach,
get settled,
then slit it open.

A check
with my mom's name
in the corner:
Fleurette G. Ryan
and her last

address: Sterling
Assisted Living.
She didn't die there;
that was hospice.

I fold
the check
and slip it back
in the envelope.
Once all four

are cashed,
Nancy will close
the account.
of an era.

End of playing
cards and sipping
wine in the late

End of watching
her enjoying
lobster, melted
butter shining
on her chin.

End of sweet
while driving
to the cemetery
to place

on my dad's grave.
End of trips
to Foxwoods.
End of winning.

It's warm
at the beach
but goosebumps
spring up
on my arms.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Open the Box

Thursday 2/16/06 Block 3

Open the Box

I don't dare.
Not yet.
The ribbons
are still tied
with a red bow.

But, that color
is a hint
I've let slip out
because sometimes
the life
inside the box
is too big
and alive to remain
cooped up.

It's like a pan
of boiling potatoes.
If you don't crack
the cover
and let some of the steam
out, it'll overflow
the sides
and make a big mess.

I'm not ready
for the mess
untying those ribbons

well, maybe
I'll start pulling
just a little bit....


Tuesday 2/7/06 Block 2


When my husband
looks at me,
he sees a wife
making his supper,
putting his next day's lunch
together, bringing him cookies
and milk for dessert.

What he doesn't see
is what my mind is doing
all that time.
I'm in a house
by the sea,
living alone,
making myself an omelette
just the way I like it.
I'm sitting on the beach
writing a poem.
I'm in a foreign country
on vacation
without him.

But, I'm definitely
not in the house
tending to him.

Sunday with Kylie

January 24, 2006 Block 1

Sunday with Kylie

When I left you
on Sunday afternoon,
you were curled on your side
like a fiddlehead fern
newly sprouted in spring.

I rubbed your back
softly, just enough
to let you know
I'd been there.

Your face puckered
in rosebud sleep.

I hated the bubble
of our afternoon
to end.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

At the Other End of the Street

Tuesday 3/18/08

At the Other End of the Street

Sometimes we played
baseball: rocks
for home plate
and second,
a crack on the sidewalk
for first, and a dandelion
on someone's lawn
for third.

Other days the telephone
pole became our safe spot
for playing Hide 'n' Seek.
I was a good hider
and "it" would always
have to holler,
"Allee Allee entry."

We played jump rope
and double Dutch
with clothesline.
"England, Ireland,
Scotland, Wales,
red, white, blue"

And, at eight sharp
mothers from all along
the street
would call our names
and we'd head
into our other lives.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

After Writing Too Many Poems

Thursday 4/30/09

After Writing Too Many Poems

I think
I'm poemed out.
I need a break
from figurative

I need
an afternoon
of sitting on the beach
looking at the waves

and just thinking
about them
as waves
and nothing else,

just water
being pulled
by the moon
onto the shore.

That's it~
not waves of emotion
or waves of sorrow
or waves of troubles,

plain, simple waves
that do not beg
to be put into
a poem.


Thursday 3/19/09

Poem inspired by Dead Poets' Society


We were getting ready
to go to church.
I put on decent slacks
and a nice shirt.

My long, curly hair
surrounded my head.
At the last minute
I draped a rope

of beads around
my neck. When I
went downstairs,
my dad said

to get rid of the beads.
I refused. They looked
nice against my plain
shirt. Nothing wrong

with them. "You're not
going to church looking
like a hippie!" he yelled.
"Dad, everyone wears

them!" "Not my daughter!"
It was 1967, just the beginning
of the cultural revolution.
Tears in my eyes,

I took the beads off
and went to church
like a good girl.
But that evening

instead of going to CCD,
I met my boyfriend and we went
parking. I draped my beads
over his rear view mirror.

Linda's Poems