Into the Sunset

Still bright dusk
As we drive away
Into a sumptuous sunset

The quiet road curves
And curves again
Sinuous through naked trees
Fast fading into tall ghosts

Quietness fills the car
Not stunned awe
Certainly not simmering anger
Simple quiet
That rare miraculous quiet
Of two old people
Lucky enough
To take love for granted
Driving easily
No hurry
Together
Down a winding road
Through guardian trees
Past hurried homes
Towards a gentling sky
Fast fading from strong afternoon blue
To soft evening gray
With yet one brilliant streak
Of sun-caught cloud leaking
Between earth and sky

Between here and now
Between now and then
Between then and yet
Between yet and never
Between never and ever
Between ever and enough
Between enough and us

Seesaw

I wrote a poem
Celebrating spring
And dolphins in Venetian canals

An Italian friend wrote, “The canals of Venice are clean, but I have ambulance sirens in my ears night and day reminding me of all those people dying alone. I can’t stand all this. I’m sorry.”

I love quiet days
Quarantined
With my husband

I miss eating dinner with my mother, playing bridge with friends, wandering slowly through grocery store aisles, babysitting our grandson.

I am grateful
The President
Is listening
To medical scientists

I worry that he did not listen soon enough and will not listen long enough.

I rejoice in spring
Lenten roses, primroses
Daffodils, violets, vinca
Buds and blossoms

I mourn for a world on pause, with sickness, anxiety and death the common denominator.

I pray
Because
I believe

I doubt in my own belief, knowing the shape of it to be culturally determined.

I seesaw
Always

But now I see it, feel it, experience it, live with it, every hour of every day.

Seesaw sickness

Veracity vertigo

Les Eydins

I see the bottle
White Wine
on the bookcase
under my kitchen window

In France
the village is old
spilling down the hillside
for centuries

Golden stone
creates the buildings
towering close
unbroken lines
over narrow streets

From the ancient church at the top
to the merely old church at the bottom

Through the village
to the turn off
dirt road into the small
grandly named
Chateau Les Eydins

I remember the dogs
two of them
Invisibly tethered to the farmhouse
or is it the chateau
stopping in the bushes
at the edge of the winery
the vignoble

I remember envying Wendy’s beautiful
to my ears
French

And my stumbling attempts

But that village
all of life’s security
in that narrow street
winding down
between those golden buildings

Some people would feel claustrophobic
I tell Wendy
I feel only safe
on our way to the winery

We each bought two bottles

One sits
now
on the bookcase
under my kitchen window

March Evening

The day darkens.
The breeze breezes.
The clothes sway on the line.

I hung them out late and left them out through the light rain sprinkles. Tomorrow will bring sun. I pretend that sun and rain and more sun will ensure they are germ free.

I sip the last of my white wine.
I hear night sounds
and traffic sounds –
A back garden in the city.
Life in the time of quarantine –
how lucky I am.

Viridity

I am not sure
if swallows have returned to Capistrano
but dolphins have returned to Venice

We walk our back garden
alone together

The weeping cherry
drops white tearlets
onto purple Solomon’s seal
surging up from winter rest

Bolder peonies
in deep red
are already knee high

Daffodils and Lenten roses
nod their greetings
while shy vinca tries to hide
their blue in green skirts

Radishes arise
as we bury potatoes

Bloodroot’s pure white flowers
beneath budding trees
belie its name

Our constructed world slows
as God’s world grows

And dolphins swim past
quiet Venetian streets

My Dog Died

My dog died
just before February leaped,
leaped into a pandemic.

I went to France
just before March crept,
crept into a crisis.

I returned home
just before time slowed,
slowed for everyone.

I sit here now
going nowhere fast,
keeping all distant,

and mourn for a world
that seemed to stop
when my dog died.

Sisters

Noble Antigone
Intent upon God’s right
A king’s decree be damned
Murmured ritual
Sprinkled soil

And hanged herself

killing inconstant Harmon
innocuous Eurydice

Leaving only
Grieving
Chastened
Creon

Only?

What of Ismene?
Where wanders the practical sister?
How mourns the sole survivor?
What keeps her awake in darkest night?
Twisting her bed sheets
Wandering echoing halls
Grief? Guilt? Anger? Frustration?
Loneliness?

Bold Antigone
Flames bright
For a brief moment
And lives forever

Sad Ismene
With tempered loyalty
Lingers long
And dies unmourned