I’m having a tough time writing the sequel to Serendipity & Me. Not sure if it’s because I’m doubtful of its publication chances, or what. But maybe by posting one of the first poems in the new manuscript I’ll get motivated. So here it is, (although I can’t get the correct indentations to work here):
I ask Dad,
Does Lola hate animals?
Of course not, he says.
Who really hates animals?
But I saw a dog approach her once
and she went the other way.
I guess they’ve never had the conversation.
The one I expect to have someday with anyone
who will be important in my life.
The one about What Is Your Favorite Animal
and How Many of Them Do You Plan on Caring for?
My answer right now would be cats
and a gazillion.
But maybe when I’m older
I’ll be more realistic about the number.
Dad takes my silence
It’s just that I think she might be nervous
I don’t want to scare her off.
The thought of Lola
makes me nervous.
I wonder if he gave any thought
Although I’ve continued to work on fiction, I haven’t posted much here in the last year, other than a few poems. My life has felt different ever since last July when my mother entered the ICU and almost didn’t come out. She was there for 5 weeks; intubated for twice as long as is normally acceptable. I live over 2,000 miles away from my parents, so in the beginning, every day was shadowed and marked with a much-needed update on her condition. There wasn’t room in my brain for a lot more.
My first 10-day visit almost hollowed me out. But by the time I left, she was in an almost-normal hospital room. It felt miraculous, but still tenuous.
My second visit, her first week home, was a different kind of gut-wrench. To see my lively, capable mother so distressed felt equally distressing. (Although I’m sure it wasn’t.)
Then to see how remarkably she’d progressed by Christmastime was a full-out joy.
During this whole time and before, my brother–in-law had been battling cancer. He fought bravely and well for two years, but his last few weeks were devastating. He went Home a day before Valentine’s. His passing has left an enormous hole.
And now it is spring. The day before yesterday we celebrated Easter. I have a first grandchild on the way. I am recounting this now because life is ahead. But I will be forever altered by the last nine months.