THE NIGHT REFRIGERATOR

featured in the poetry forum December 14, 2019  :: 0 comments

Dedicated to my children, Sarah and Daniel, who bought me my new refrigerator on the occasion of my birthday on December 25, 2009.

Shhhh.
All is still and dark
and I have awoken
from dreamless sleep
and come to the dark kitchen
for water.

The refrigerator is new
brought in on a red dolly
by a man who turned corners
carefully and wheeled
it in like a newborn
in a carriage.

Alone in the night
in the dark kitchen
I hear the sounds of the night.
Is that a moon outside
casting its brightness
onto my table to make it shine?

And I
the recipient of brightness
in my dark kitchen
find by careful fingering
a glass
sparkling streakless squeaky
from the dishwasher,
we are modern people,
and no longer go to the well,
but in the dark,
place my glass just so,
pushing the rubber udder
of the water dispenser
on the outside,
and listen
for the fullness of the
glass,

Then, turning round,
listen for the sounds
of the night
no birds, no winds,
no squirrels scurrying on the branch

The hum of the refrigerator is all I hear,
and heat pumping up from the basement,
we no longer live by campfire
or hear wolves howling in the distant hills,
these are the sounds of a quiet home,
more windows than wood,

Gulping:
the first thing we do,
and the last.

editors note:

Our first and last; no different than those tales we heard from the lives of the pioneers. – mh clay

Gwen Ifill Is Dead

December 3, 2019  :: 0 comments

It was one of those lazy November days, the sky was a blah grey, with an impenetrable fuzzy blanket across the sky. I pulled into the driveway of my condo, just in time to find something to eat and watch the PBS Evening News. My late husband inculcated the importance of this in me, and it was now my duty …

A Quiet Thanksgiving

April 7, 2019  :: 0 comments

She was an old woman now. The crime her son Aaron committed was on her mind every day. And why shouldn’t it be? He had killed his wife and was serving a forty-year sentence in Chino Men’s Prison just south of Los Angeles. Her husband, God bless him, had left her plenty of money. Sitting at her cluttered dining room …

STANDING UNDER THE STARS IN HELENE’S BOOTS

featured in the poetry forum February 25, 2019  :: 0 comments

Are they really that far away?
Seems like I could stretch
my arms and scoop a handful
to play with or sleep with
in my lonely bed.

Who knows? Perhaps if I do
I would ignite and you’d see
me no more.

Or my house would light up
like the manger and we’d all
be born again, given a second chance.

editors note:

Each star shines salvation for a sinner somewhere. Find yours. – mh clay

Riding the Roads

December 23, 2018  :: 0 comments

My ex-husband and I bought a used Winnebago for $111,000. A doctor of jurisprudence, Michael had never gotten over me. The feeling was not mutual. Now in our sixties, I felt sorry for the man. His third wife, Nedra, had died. He’d made widows of every single woman he’d married or dated. He was always a terrible driver, even when …

KING OSCAR WILD CAUGHT SARDINES IN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

featured in the poetry forum December 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

Starving, I wolf down many layered sardines
bathed in olive oil.

The King’s picture is on the papery cover
that rattles invitingly to my touch.

King Oscar would protect you from every threat
imaginable. Hordes of barbarians, with

Spears aloft. Floods on mountain-sides
that seek to squoosh us alive.

Thunderbolts of Zeus that
would sizzle our skin.

Such a hero is the King.
Broad shoulders with

Epaulets like ship
Masts.

Moustaches that sweep downward
A full beard like a roaring furnace.

He is our man.
The Good King Oscar.

editors note: Sardine salvation. Stock up for the apocalypse! (Canned ekphrasis? Uncanny! – check it out here.) – mh clay

Donald Peterson

September 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

There was a long stopover from the American Airlines flight from Seattle to Cleveland. She wore a loose fitting dress with tiny birds seeming to fly off into the distance. Lucy disembarked with old carryon baggage coming apart at the seams. She made sure her name was visible on the small plastic card as she lugged it to the nearest …

IMPULSE PURCHASES

featured in the poetry forum September 16, 2018  :: 0 comments

Tic-Tacs, Orbit Gum,
slimy Beef Jerky.

What’s a huge Hershey Bar
with Almonds doing on the
rack near the National Enquirer?

Stealthily, this diabetic
puts it in her cart, along
with my healthy foods.

Driving home, I tear off the
brown paper wrapping, and
munch on it while the raindrops
pound on my windshield.

Is it worth losing my eyesight,
or having my toes amputated to
satisfy a five-minute taste
extravaganza?

The windshield wipers
sigh.

editors note:

What doesn’t kill you (now?)… – mh clay

YOU AGAIN, DAMMIT!

featured in the poetry forum July 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

Reading the love poems of
Rupi Kaur, I’m forced
Once again to remember you.

Doris said I’d like you
When she sent me to your
Carriage house on Chew Ave
To put you in our magazine
Art Matters.

The love was instantaneous
A cake loving the icing
The clouds, the sun
The moon her earthbound romantics

And so I loved you.
You died without me
Thirty years ago.

Did you bring our shattered love
With you to your grave? It’s still
Inside me, forgotten, for the
Most part, but easy to revive,
Like moonlight when I step
Outside at night.

editors note:

Memorial moments where grief is gain. – mh clay

Splat

July 7, 2018  :: 0 comments

“I wish I could say things are better,” wrote Charlie Anderson, about his wife Callie, “but they’re worse.” The experimental drug for her early onset Alzheimer’s had not worked. “Now it’s like I have no wife. She can’t speak and has a blank look on her face like a dead fish.” I was on his email mailing list and felt …