The Plants!

Nature Center, Albuquerque 9/2017

In Kansas City they have these flowering plants called naked ladies. They are so odd looking to me. I’m used to spiny things that warn you to keep away. If we humans completely mess up the earth (which seems inevitable), the plants are going to take over. They’ll fill all the crevices, infiltrate the buildings, cover the streets. I hope they like it hot.

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I miss

I miss picking out the restaurant we want to go to. I miss choosing a movie from a long list at the multiplex. I miss flying to the coast to see family. I miss hugs. I miss playing music with people. I miss chatting up the folks in my exercise class. There’s a lot to miss during a quarantine. But it isn’t as hard as missing the people who’ve been caught in this pandemic. Missing the people who are missing. The trauma and grief from so many missing people will last long after this is over.

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The Kitchen

The kitchen was
Where I talked to mom,
The kitchen was
Where we were all together,
The kitchen was
Where we played table games,
The kitchen was
The place to sit and stare,
The kitchen was
Full – filled – with life.

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What’s that smell?

I opened a new pack of Clorox wipes to clean up the load of groceries I’d just brought in the house. Ah, life during corona virus.

After, the smell on my hands took me back years. Back to an elementary school where I used to teach. Back to a school where the janitor polished and waxed the floors so regularly they gleamed. The wax, or the cleaning fluid, that he put in the machine he pushed up and down the halls, smelled like my hands.

I was back in the hallways of that building, thinking about all the kids who passed through them – probably still will when this pandemic is over. Back in a part of my life that was as natural as breathing.

Now, each time I use those wipes, I’ll go far away. Funny how a smell can do that to you.

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All the Alerts

Think about all the alert sounds you know now that didn’t exist a few years ago. Alerts for games, for Facebook Messenger, for emails and voice mails and Marco Polo talks. Then there’s the horrible one for civil defense alerts or tornado warnings. What we don’t hear is the old timey ‘ring ring’ of a landline. Now phones ring with songs or chimes or clown horns. Modern day smart phone create a lot of interruptions. Don’t pay any attention. Keep writing.

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Humid

Air so thick, it’s like inhaling clouds.
Sky a dirty grey, tree leaves dark matte.
Bird song hovers near the ground,
Unable to rise.
Airplanes make an unseen roar above us.
I feel soaked through, as if I could sweat
Cool water.

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When I Was Out Walking

Daffodils
Spring flowers

When I was out walking
I felt happy for the sun
Warming my face.

When I was out walking
I admired the spring,
The flowers, the grass.

When I was out walking
I remembered how beautiful
Life can be.

I kept walking.

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Dream

As a kid, my dream was to become a writer. I did that. But it’s funny how I got there. I took a side trip through many years of teaching. My favorite thing to teach was writing!

Those early dreams tell us who we are, what we are. Do you remember your earliest dreams? Did they somehow come to pass in your life?

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Remember

Remember back in the 60s when everyone was building bomb shelters? They planned to move the family into them and live there for months until it was time to come out safely.

We didn’t have the nuclear war everyone was expecting back then, so we didn’t try all living in one small space for weeks at a time. We’re trying it now however. Getting a taste of what it’s like when the world outside the door is scary.

Lucky for us, the grocery stores are still open, the pizza joint still delivers, Netflix is streaming, and your FaceTime conversations with your best friend are still a go.

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Board Games

The old fashioned board games, the kind where you have to do the adding and subtracting yourself, were the best. I loved counting up my Monopoly money or figuring out my Life points. Now the board games have electronic ways to keep track of the numbers. It goes faster, but it isn’t as much fun. Let’s dig that old Monopoly board out of the closet, shall we? Oh, wait, what about Scrabble, too?

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