View from the Top

I climbed my first tree before I was five. Got stuck. Screamed. Daddy had to walk two miles home from work in the middle of a hot West Virginia afternoon and rescue me. Like a cat, I finally learned not to climb down head-first. For the next XX years (I'd say how many, but no one would believe it) I spent time in the tops of trees, where I learned some of life's most important skills -- and pleasures. I'd say what they were (and are) but that would be telling. And you know what they say -- writers should show, not tell. So kick off your shoes and shimmy on up. Join me here surrounded by blue sky and little green leaves. Bring a book if you like, or a notebook. The apples up here are crisp and ripe and free for the picking.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Second Cuppa Coffee Time

Okay, so it's been a while.  But since I really am sitting here with my second cup, and since I've missed strolling through the fallen fruit of this orchard, I'm making a new resolve to do something here a few times a week.  Ever heard of trying too hard?  I've been guilty of that.  Polish something to extreme and you wear it away entirely.  In light of this truth, I offer something rough:


THREE MINUTES ON TUESDAY

The facts are these:  the screws came out. 
This dressing table – my mother’s since her girlhood –
has sat in my house for twenty years.
Ornate and curliqued,
it wears a dark veneer once thought elegant.
The mirror’s been loose and rocking for years,
and when the screws gave way
it leaned back lazily toward the wall, 
then yesterday, slid forward,
pushing off everything – the coal oil lamp
that was Great-grandmother’s,
my one bottle of good perfume,
a memorial basket of flowers,
and other stuff, now lost beneath my bed. 
The mirror now lies staring upward,
blind to all but the flat gray ceiling.
This lovely piece is possibly past repair
for its wood has gone to punk.  Gone, Mother
and Great-grandmother.  Gone the man whose death
left me the flowers.  And the good perfume –
evaporation will see to that. 
On the wall, the mirror’s frame has left
a long dark streak,
and for some reason this makes me saddest of all.

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