Inaugural Issue of Ailment – Chronicles of Illness Narratives

During these months of such uncertainty, creative expression is a beautiful release. It is an honor to have my poetry and art included in this gorgeous, thoughtful, inaugural issue of Ailment – Chronicles of Illness Narratives.(clicking here or on image also will take you to Ailment’s First Issue)
I hope you, your loved ones, and all people you know are managing the days and staying safe❤️

I sketched the three drawings that accompany my poems when visiting with my beautiful mother at the nursing home. These last few weeks have been difficult not visiting with her, but days when she manages to answer the phone we get to chat a little. The nursing home allows families to drop items off. I go once a week and drop off crullers, comics, and family photos with love notes. My mother is my touchstone. Since suffering her massive stroke, over two years now, she still never complains. She manages small smiles. I selfishly miss that glorious smile of hers, the one I so often brag about-her god-given movie star grin.❤️xo

thank you

if you want to check out Ailment’s website click here

We’ll Always Have the High Chair

honored to have my prose poem We’ll Always Have the High Chair
published in Free Lit Magazine
“Free Lit Magazine is free and published bi-monthly with a mandate to be committed
to the accessibility of literature for readers and the
enrichment of writing for writers.” – Free Lit Magazine

We’ll Always Have the High Chair

 

We laughed. Chuckled while swimming in the YMCA pool. In my kitchen or yours. During our walks. Shopping and smiling. Over coffee.

Dad often asked, “How can you always have so much to talk about? What the hell is so funny all the time?”

Constant conversations. Endless phone calls when we lived only a few miles from one another. And now, I can’t remember much. What did we talk about, mom? What was always so funny all the time?

I’d give anything to hear you laugh again.

I remember when Caroline was five months old. You and I decided to try my first born in her new high chair. She was a tiny baby, and had what we called a minnow-head. We placed her in the chair. She tilted sideways and that bitty head slid to the far corner. There she sat grinning with those sweet bow lips. From that moment, whenever either of us said, Remember the high chair, we’d laugh.

This morning, you keep spitting out your meds. Don’t seem to remember why you need to swallow them. With a despondent voice I ask, Remember the high chair?

Your eyes crinkle as drool dribbles down your chin.

Don’t Love Them Too Much

I’ve been gone awhile. Spending many days in the nursing home with my beautiful mom. Hope you’re all well and excited for a colorful Autumn. I’m hard at work trying to pull together a labor-of-love; a poetry collection about care-giving, love, loss and family. I’ve been doing loads of writing offline. As you know, getting published is uphill all the way. So, my friends, onward and upward. ❤️

I’m thrilled to have this piece, Don’t Love Them Too Much, published in the Front Porch Review! Click anywhere here in this red copy and visit the Front Porch Review. Many talented writers visiting the charming home there!

Stronger

Honored to have my poem “Stronger” published in Literary Mama-a beautiful testament to the spirit of motherhood…
“Literary Mama first started to take shape in 2002 as a class called Writing About Motherhood taught in Berkeley, California by Amy Hudock. A group of mothers continued meeting at the conclusion of the class, and within months, had connected with other mother writers who, like them, were producing work that was deemed too complex for glossy parenting magazines and too mother-centric for traditional literary journals.”

“…our current staff of 27 includes women from across the United States, Canada, and Israel. We’re communications professionals, university professors, writers, editors, copy editors, photographers, and moms. Our contributors hail from all corners of the world.”

Stronger

a worn woman stands in my mirror
half-cocked smile working its way to the corners
my mother deserves a joyful daughter
my mother, the one in the mechanical bed
I remember a version of me
standing tall with my broad frame and big hands
(gifts from my dad)
ready to take on life’s traveling circus
I fancied myself a carnival strong-woman
all muscles and charisma

what of this beaten figure confiscating my reflection
proud shoulders curving toward the dirt
hands large like her father’s, now achy and brittle

I long for a return to those 360-mirror days
sauntering like a big cat
pumping fierce iron
positive in mind and powerful in body
yet here I am with the memory
unable to ignite the revival
my beloved weights, big stacks once impressive to many
abandoned on a cold gym floor somewhere

still I lift every day
my mother’s broken body like a heaving sack of flour

from bed to wheelchair to commode
up and down up and down
up ramps down ramps side ramps
in around and back again

with each passing day
I grow stronger