Monday, March 30, 2009



I would like to thank Paige for this Sisterhood Award! It is always suh-weeeeet to be recognized with these things.


I imagine there are rules and like that, but you know how I get.

_______

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Drinking Dream Of Helen T.



Even though I know that endings are as natural as rivers,

I was missing you

So bad,

Missing the face I had come to love and count on.


How was I to know

You would actually come back?

Even though this time was different,

Even though this time we stood apart,

Even if clear-eyed and not unkindly.


When you came back,

I wasn't the girl you remembered.

I was turning one last trick in the grey dawn,

And even though that long line of others back through the night had not been my choice,

This one was.

I had thought, I can use the money to buy myself something nice,

And so that's what I was doing when you found me.


Disappointment seen on a much-loved face is acid to the soul;

It wasn't any of the rest of that night that broke me--

It was your heart-shaped face

And your kindness, afterward, anyway.


By the next night,

You had gone--

And I was drunk as a nun on the body and blood

When I decided to go see you one last time.


I left, barely noticed by the other girls,

Who were all

Younger

Hotter

Gayer

Simpler

Than I was.

No one would have thought that a fucked-up Bo Peep like me could steal a car so easily,

But soon I was on the road

With a little pretty book in my pocket

Whose pages were painted with the best of me.


I jumped curbs, ran lights,

And made it through the blurry world, wondering why the wheel seemed so loose

And onrushing objects so near.


You were at church with your family for Easter.

The ushers caught me at the door and made me dress in male drag, like a groom or a porter--

I couldn't get the tie right,

And my neck didn't fill the collar,

But drunken detachment and the desire to see you made me care/not care

Enough to wander inside and search for your face as if it were an icon.


I never did find you,

Though I felt you there, with your husband and your neighbors and your place in the world.

It was so terribly hard to focus my eyes,

And I knew I looked ridiculous

And would never fit in there, in your world,

So I gave up and left

With the little book still in my pocket.


I had wanted to show it to you,

Every perfect page--

That had been the whole point,

That,

And to say, to the face I loved so much,

"Goodbye"

And, through tears,

"I'm sorry."

_________

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Song



When I was five,

The devil came for me

But I was wise--

I knew

He wasn't who he claimed to be

I knew

He wasn't related to me

So, like any frustrated male,

He swore out a special hatred

And stayed on my trail

Like a bloodhound

And cursed the ground

I walked on.


When I was eighteen,

The devil came for me

But I said, "la la la la I can't hear you

You can come around and come again

But as long as they keep making gin

I won't fear you"

But I should have.


Oh Mama, Mama,

Why can't you hear your girl cry?

Down at the end of the hall

My Mama fine and tall

Why don't you throw your bible at the devil, instead of leaving me alone in the night?


When I am lonely,

That's when the devil comes for me

It's like clockwork, automatic

He comes down from the attic

And then I feel five again

But I'm stubborn,

So stubborn,

I spit in his big red eye

So, like any insulted male,

He holds back a special evil,

Drops it in the mail,

And promises me

Delivery when I least expect it.


Oh Mama, Mama,

Why can't you hear your girl cry?

Down at the end of the hall

My Mama fine and tall

Why don't you throw your bible at the devil, instead of leaving me alone in the night?


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Note C.M. Left For Andy



Carrots see what is hidden from thee,

Corn is simple and sweet.

Peas agree that hiding is best,

And are exceptionally quick on their feet.


Beets sit and bitch

And drone on and on.

Brussels sprouts won't say

Which side they're on.


Asparagus

Looks on in disgust.

Celery can't be

Easy to trust.


Lima beans make a scene,

And their language is foul.

Lettuce is roughage

And good for the bowel.


Tubers start rumours,

And yams say I certainly am!

But French green beans live beyond their means,

While insisting they certainly do not!


Vegans are violently

Opposed to meat.

Radishes have nothing

And are out on the street.


My vegetable love,

I don't mean to be coy--

But the truth is, my dear,

I'm leaving you for soy.

__________

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Next Time



Next time, just

Set the cat outside;

You don't need to skin it

And hang the hide.


Next time, just say,

"I'd rather not."

You needn't show off

That aim you've got.


Tighten the coil on those old dry bones,

Those heartless fucks

Who left you alone;


Wrap the rope, kick the stool,

Hang those sods

And their golden rule.


Rich man, poor man,

Beggar man, thief,

Til they know you

They don't know grief;


Black Narcissus,

Silver bell,

Horseshoe hung

On the gates of Hell.


Next time, try

Not to go so far,

Every door

Has bolt and bar;


Last time, this time,

Next time done--

There are not endless

Other ones.

__________

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Dark Bird



There is a great dark bird

And its feathers are made

Of every day

When love was scarce

And safe was just a steely locked place to hide my heart in.


The dark bird's oldest feathers

Are rooted deepest.

They are named:

Violence

Loneliness

Neglect

Cruelty

And isolation.


Always, when I feel worst,

I know the dark bird is there, like a curse,

An anti-mother,

Whose obsidian heart does not beat at all.

And me?

I am her baby.

God have mercy.


One moment, I may be laughing with a lover in bed,

And the next,

I find she is sister to the dark bird,

And I wish I was dead.


Alcohol

Cocaine

Sex

Religion

Eating

Not eating

Doing the right thing

Doing the wrong thing

Doing anything

Just to keep the dark bird away.


Listen, friend,

I know the dark bird.

She has spread her wings across and above me

Like an un-sun.

She has left her mark across my heart,

And she has called me her child,

Though I fight

Though I run.


Be stealthy,

Be respectful, as if you were entering a church.

And if you find me laughing,

If I say to you, I love you,

You're beautiful,

Stay with me...

There is no need for reproach.


Soon enough,

My own raised and forgetful voice,

The very noise of my own momentary happiness,

Will wake the bird

And she will carry off hope in her talons

Which are called:

Defeat.

Despair.

Perdition.

_________


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Little Cat



Soft by night

Lazy by day

And her eyes are always

Far away.


Little Cat can't ever be yours

It's something other, something else she adores.


Her eyes are a green that's hard to define

And you wake up from dreams with her on your mind.


Little Cat cries in the dark all alone

And Little Cat knows she can never go home.


Sad Little Cat in love with the moon

If you care to touch her, do it soon.

___________

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Did I Mention...?






Did I mention that monday was the one year blogiversary of Word Garden? Well, it was. As I gaze blindly into the dazzling light of My Future, I want to thank each and every one of my readers. I love you all.




PS--The pictured train wrecks are similar but not identical. Can you find the differences?


______

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Egg Speaks



"I can't help still having a soft spot for Pan," says Egg, in an interview.

"Pan was the one who brought me out of my shell,

And when we touched, well! Things heated up in a hurry."


Egg looks wistful for a moment, then continues.

"But just when I was feeling solid in our relationship,

Just when I felt so sunny,

Pan dumped me."


A little drop of yolk slips down her face.


"It wasn't pretty after that.

First there was Plate, who was cold.

Then there was Fork, who was even worse, and left me in pieces.

I thought," says Egg, bravely,

"That I might be consumed entirely. But I wasn't."


Egg brightens.

"That was when I met Mayo and Mustard.

After the terrible loneliness of my post-Pan days, I finally felt that I was a part of something larger than myself."

Egg smiles shyly.

"I suppose you could say those were my salad days."


"But I never really forgot my first love, Pan.

Oh I know, he's heated it up with Bacon and Hash Browns and who-knows-who since we split up,

But I'll always love him anyway.

Pan was such a hottie."


The audience, mostly women, go "Awww," and several of them fumble in their bags for a tissue.

Oprah leans closer to Egg and asks gently,

"What about Chicken? The media has portrayed you as everything from bitter rivals, to being as close as mother and daughter. They even link Chicken and Pan romantically. Egg, what do you have to say about all of that?"


The audience gasps.

Oprah's face is alive with empathy.

The camera zooms in.

Egg speaks.


"Oh, Chicken just got her feathers ruffled because, with Pan, she knows that I came first."

_________

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ballet For Dry Grass



When lightning ripped down out of Heaven like an endless diamond,


It split the stones,

And cast us out.


As we fell,

You said, "This is all of your doing, and none of mine."

I said, "Still, you should have left your bags behind."


When lightning ripped down out of Heaven like an endless diamond,


It split the stones,

And cast us out.


As we fell,

You said, "This is all of your doing, and none of mine."

I said, "Not even Boudica Jolie commands the sky."


I suppose there are more foolish things

Than purely ornamental wings,

But if I'm apt to die

Give me ugly ones that fly.


When lightning ripped down out of Heaven like an endless diamond,


It split the stones,

And cast us out.


And as we fell, we were

Two screeching cats

With ready feet,

Two baying bitches

Served up neat.

_____________


The tarot art quilt pictured is by Candis.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Empty Rooms



( Daryl has inspired me this morning with her photo post "The Doors." Thanks, lady.)


Certain sorts of empty rooms are like a Sunday morning--

All that clear space like a deep breath taken

Then released like roses to a vase

When your lover's hand

Finds your hip

Under clean sheets

Under slanting light

When time cradles you like a pillow

And the only punishment for lingering

Shall be kisses

And soft words.


Certain sorts of empty rooms are endearing for what they don't contain--

All that easy air unstifled by

Successful husbands in golf shirts

Or wives hoarding secret thoughts as close as shivs;

Well established respectable families so entrenched, they couldn't be dynamited out

And who would deny the concussion

If it came.


Empty rooms

Are like a first kiss

Empty rooms

Are like a close death

Empty rooms

Are at the command of every fingertip--

Sleep late

Skip church;

If you've loved faith,

You carry hope

Into each empty room like a banner

Or a long-awaited, soft sweet-smelling child.

________

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Installment



At the Elizabeth Hitchens Maximum Security Facility For Women in Coldwater, Michigan,

Inmate #52759 receives a visitor

At four in the morning.


This visitor is not designated on any roster of friends and family, nor is her visit sanctioned by any overseeing authority.

She is a succubus.

She enters sleepers' dreams.

She has sex with them.

She steals their souls.

She has come to see Chloe.


The cell block is as silent as a spider's web.

The succubus drifts between the bars and in.

It is rare to hear the voice of a startled mythical demon.

"Jesus Christ on a motor bike!" says the succubus. "You scared me!"


Chloe is sitting wide awake on the top bunk,

Her eyes as steady and bright as a child's.

"Hola, chica," she says.


"Wow, you should wear a bell around your neck, girl, you about gave me a heart attack. You could at least say you're sorry."


"You sound like the Judge," Chloe replies coolly. "The actions of this wicked girl...yadda yadda. Who has never shown the slightest remorse for her evil act."


The succubus searches in her shoulder bag for something and mutters, "Yeah, I get that all the time, too. Damn, forgot my smokes. Listen, Bo Peep, why are you in here, anyway?"


"Duh. The doors are all locked."


The succubus finally finds her cigarettes and sits on the edge of the bunk to smoke. "Look, sugar pea. Since I quit selling real estate, I'm a little short. I need a roommate. What d'you think? Share an apartment together, get a cat or something?"


"Would there be smoke alarms?" asks Chloe.


"Pfffft, no way, I set those things off just by walking in the door. They set my teeth on edge, I won't have one in my place. I'm all about serenity and shit. So, how about it?"


Chloe shrugs. "Sure."


The guard in his little plexiglass booth had fallen asleep. He began to have the most remarkable dream. He thought he was touching Jody Reigelberger's nipple, but it was really the button that releases the cell block doors. Then his heart stopped. "It's almost too easy," thinks the succubus.


Before they go apartment hunting, the girls stop at the Danny's across from the golf course for some breakfast. The manager is new in town, with a nice place he's rented all for himself, right near work. He just got this job, and at first he thinks it must be his lucky day when the two hot babes walk in and give him the smoky eye.


"You from around here?" asks the dark one. The younger one is silent, but he almost drops their menus when she looks straight at him and licks her lips.

_________

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Raccoon Baby



Raccoon girl

Rattling the garbage

Prowling in the moon light

Living on the fine edge

Of morning and your endless love of night.


Raccoon girl

Sitting in a moon beam

Climbing on the wicker

Where your love was last seen

In trashy dreams and you lay dreaming with her.


Raccoon baby

Living by your sixth sense

Sneaking up the grapevine

Everything is present tense

With eyes like clever gypsies in a dark line.


Come, little bandit,

What's done is done.

My back door's open

And the

Night

Is

Young.

______





Scribbler Award


I would like to thank Vicariousrising for giving me the Superior Scribbler Award. Since I am back to work and nothing especially dramatic is happening in my life, I found myself unable to write anything worth posting here yesterday. So I thought it would be droll to post a writing award on a day when I have nothing poetic to say.


There are rules and stuff but you know how I get.
Er...does anyone else think it looks like the Scribbler has boobs for eyes? "Look into my eyes! Wait! Stop staring at my boobs! Oh never mind! Dammit! Why was I born like this?!?" Well maybe not. You know how my mind works.


I do appreciate the award, though. Thanks!

_____

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saint Detective Robert Goren



Saint Detective Robert Goren

Came to me in my dreams last night

As I squeezed through a hole in the back yard fence

With my rag doll and little light


Saint Detective Robert Goren

Said he knows how men wear masks

And if I wanted to tell him a secret

All I had to do was ask


His partner Alex Eames

Had hidden my stuff upstairs

It was done to prevent me from leaving

And because they always work in pairs


Star light, star bright

The devil stays out of sight


Wish I may, wish I might

Elude that terrifying appetite


Saint Detective Robert Goren

Had his ways and his little tricks

Though the closer he got, the more I screamed

And beat him with my fists


Saint Detective Robert Goren

Made me tell him all the rest

He said I never had been guilty

And I wept against his chest.

________

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chloe



Chloe took to living on the golf course

After her parents and she

Could not agree.


Chloe had burned down the garage.

Her parents had objected.

Chloe had expressed her dislike of cheerleaders.

The authorities had intervened.

Chloe had asserted her innocence.

A jury of her peers had found otherwise.


But,

The judge who overturned the decision thought her appeal had merit--

He'd liked the way she'd crawled straight across his desk like that,

Sending tedious paperwork and awards to the floor.

He'd rarely met an applicant so eloquent.


Chloe, born

On a sunny Sunday in May,

With girlish grace

And fairy face,


Took to living on the golf course.

It was green,

If not strictly included under the language of her parole.


Some men enjoy playing golf--

Some of them to a degree never intended by God.


On a day when Saturn and Mars lined up like a gimme putt,

Retiree Bob Newburg parked his cart at the second hole, par four

And got out.

He was wearing

A white mesh bill cap,

A knit shirt with a little logo on the pocket,

And yellow polyester golf slacks.

Such a man could never survive for long in the wild.


Because Bob Newburg's attention was fixed

On remedying a persistent slice,

He was oblivious

To the young woman he had disturbed.


Chloe was just dragging a fresh kill up into the safety

Of a nearby sycamore.

Upon being interrupted,

Her perfect face became the perfect expression

Of indignant fury.


"For chrissakes, Bob!" exclaimed a shaky-voiced Don Parkley

Upon discovering what remained of his golf partner.


Chloe

Looked down from a high branch,

Her eyes as clear and calm as summer moons.


Chloe born

On a sunny Sunday in May,

With girlish grace

And fairy face,


Now resides inside the Elizabeth Hitchins Maximum Security Facility For Women

In Coldwater, Michigan.


She works in the inmate stitchery

Making little samplers for the Department of Corrections gift shop,

And has never once felt sorry

About anything.

______________


( I recently visited K's fine blog Interstitial Life and left a rather over-the-top comment off the top of my head. I later decided it deserved to be expanded. The result is "Chloe." Thank you, K, for posing the question of the difference between being "tame" and being "domesticated.")

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Emeline By Evening



Emeline

is slender

like the chances

of crepes

in the morning.


Emeline's

skin is smooth

like sectioned glass

in the open,

black-framed

window.


Lazy traffic

glides past below;

potted geraniums

and changing lights

are red.


Try Emeline's

bed of brass and white;

her hair is short

and she calls her cat

Amante.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Black Bird Heart



Black bird heart

Black bread dreams

It rains on the river

By the dark oak trees.


Small sweet hands.

Do close work best

By candle light

And cedar chest.


Hammer and hunter

And preacher in a cart

Devil and deer

Where the dark oaks start.


Candle and crow

And the blackbird's call

Midwife silent

When she burns the caul.


Small hands still

And the river won't tell

Just the blackbird's cry

And the funeral bell.


In the blackbird night

Where the devil runs free

The preacher man hangs

From a dark oak tree.

____________

Friday, March 6, 2009

Dream



It was only a dream.

I'd only gotten up to forget the sad blackbirds who were eating cornbread from your hand

Deep in the royal-colored folds

Of our last night together.


I was only looking out at the roof tops

Through the French doors

Where you liked to sit and smoke.

You woke to the sound of wings like tea leaves--

Love, what was it you saw, there in the dark?


Did you care that my skin was pale,

Or that my little silver watch had stopped telling the time

In the moment before you spoke?

Wouldn't either one have brought the rain,

And the soft click of the closing door?


You asked me to bring you

A glass of water and a rose...

But I ended up barefoot on the cool bricks of the courtyard,

Holding a little judas tree in my hands

As if it were our child.


The blackbirds were dying;

Their wings spreading helplessly into the shape of your lips

--sweet as faith--

--warm as cornbread from a pan--

Even to the moment they began to part.

________

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Single White Succubus


(The succubus has fans. More succubus poems they say. Okie dokie artichokees!)


The succubus stops at Danny's coffee shop in the cool oyster morning.

Some guy is waving his arms and pontificating.

"When I was on 20/20..." he drones.

I'll send my mad friend the incubus to that guy's house tonight, she thinks, wrapping her beautiful fingers around a chipped mug filled with steaming tea.


The succubus is a working girl,

All night she enters the minds of sleepers wrapped up in their blankets like little human burritos.

Some of them sleep in pairs, as if they were earrings set on a dresser.

Just because I'm a succubus, she thinks,

Doesn't mean I wouldn't like to be asked out on a Saturday night.

Sometimes the most beautiful girls end up watching tv

In their bath robes

With a clicker, not a lover, at hand.


As if I would steal a date's spirit, she argues indignantly with a sugar packet.

Work is work, and love is love, and that's that.

She sighs.

I'm just tired, she tells herself.

She gazes out the window.

I'm really quite sweet, I think. Given a chance.

There is a businesswoman passing by the newspaper machines in front of Danny's.

She is chattering importantly on a cell phone,

Holding it the way peasants once held icons.

The guy in the booth behind her is still holding forth.

"When I was on The View..."

The succubus purses her lips and her eyes go as dark as bibles.

The businesswoman makes a face and stops dead in her tracks, looking at her cell phone as if it had just turned into a dog turd.

The man behind the succubus curses sharply.

Somehow, his hot coffee has been upset onto his big fat lap, interrupting his story about Good Morning America.


Well, darn.


Two women sitting together in the back start laughing.

The succubus feels appreciated.

It may not be such a bad day after all.

____________



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Valentina



Valentina flubs her lines.

The little weasel director crawls out of the drain and gives her shit for it.

And she knows--

The way that birds know north,

That the entire picture is shit,

That she shouldn't be there,

But there are bills to pay

And so there she is.


That night, she strokes her lover's ribs.

Up close, the stripes are like rain down a window glass,

And when he smiles at her,

The great cruel teeth seem almost like peppermint candies.


It isn't easy for her, though all her girlfriends are faint with envy.

Every morning, the bedding is in shreds,

And his golden eyes are so intense

That she stumbles into the shower feeling scorched from the inside out.


She likes to lay her face on his fur where it is white,

Like the pillows on her canopy bed when she was a girl.

She knows

That he will not always stay with her;

And she knows

That he is changing her

Even as they lay together

Breathing in.

Breathing out.


Valentina flubs her lines.

She is supposed to be saying something about childhood, it is her character's big expository scene,

But her mind is on her lover, and how his arms are so strong that a single touch could shift her from bones to fingertips--

That he can rip her open just by padding up the stairs,

And oh, how graceful,

How lethal

Is his leap.


Valentina knows the entire picture is shit,

And that she shouldn't be there.

The little weasel director is in an unholy panic,

He calls her a stupid bitch

But she stops him with a smile

And his throat opens to her tangerine-polished nails

Just like a sinner finding God.

__________

Kindness



Goddess bless Riot Kitty. When I woke up this morning and checked my email, I had only one new message, a comment from my blogger pal RK. If not for that one note, I would have come down with a raging case of the nobody-loves-me's. Yep, busted, I do look for outside validation, like, oh, every five minutes or so, or I start to sulk. I love Love, I do, I'm a worse love sponge than my dogs. So that's my text this morning, brethren (and sisteren!). Love.


I was sifting through my humongous collection of stuffed animals one day--they get up to mischief when I am not looking, I swear they multiply--and I found a big stuffed Scottish terrier which was a gift from a girl I knew in 1973. Her name was Sue. She was 19. I was 18. We had been to see the Woody Allen movie "The Sleeper", a futuristic farce in which there was a mechanical Scottish terrier named Rags who clanked around, saying "Hello! My name is Rags! Arf! Arf!" over and over, even as thugs were pummeling Woody Allen to bits. (not a bad idea now, I think. Ha!) Anyway, Rags just broke me up, I thought he was the most ridiculously hilarious thing I had ever seen.


Well, shortly after, Sue gave me this stuffed Scottish terrier. She had even made a little dog jacket for him, to match the one in the movie, and he wore a big card that read, "Hello! My name is Rags! Arf! Arf!" Whatcha gonna do with a gal like that? I kept Rags down all the years, though his little card fell off and he is a little scruffier than he once was. So, when I rediscovered him, I thought to myself, "I wonder what Sue would think, if she knew that I had kept dear Rags all this time?" And that led me to think of another very dear girl I knew once. Let me tell you about her. In fact, she's the entire reason for this post.


At Christmas time 1961, I was six years old. (I told Jannie Funster five, but I did the math, and I was six. Never leave a poet to be the fact checker!) In the household I grew up in, a raised eyebrow constituted an emotional outburst. And it was a male enclave. There was my Daddy and my two (much) older brothers. My mom, forgive me for saying this, but she seemed to me like a cross between Queen Elizabeth and the robot maid on The Jetsons. She was a marvel of practical efficiency, and I realized later, showed her love by fixing meals and keeping things in good order. But I didn't understand that til many years later. I just thought she didn't like me much.


So there I was in the sober brown world of my family's house in 1961. There is a picture of me, taken in the late 50s, that I love. My next oldest brother had stuck his football helmet on my head, and there I was, in a half crouch with my hands spread on my knees, laughing my head off. Well, that was me by nature, I think, and still is, loving the silly and the unexpected. But there wasn't much silly at my house. Not much soft. And I look back now and think how lonely I was.


Remember I mentioned Christmas time, 1961? And that this was a post about Love? Would I forget? Would I lie to you, snookums? No way.


My oldest brother had started at the University of Michigan (did I mention that I come from a family of achievers? Did I mention that I am a poet? lol) at the same time that I started kindergarten. That Christmas, he brought a girl home with him. To my regret, I can't remember her name now. But oh, I remember her.


In those days, I spent most of my time looking up, cos I was by far the smallest human in our house. And what I saw when I looked up was mostly in sober shades of respectable dark colors. I do remember that I liked to watch my mother get ready to go out some place with my father. Then, out would come her jewelry and all her make-up and what-have-you, all of which seemed tremendously interesting to me. But as always with my mother, there was somehow the air of a military operation to it all. Pearls? Check! Perfume? Sir, yes sir!


So when my oldest brother, Paul, brought home a smiling, light bright girl in a red dress, to me it seemed he had brought a visitor from the planet Happy. I liked her immediately and I can still remember standing next to her as she sat on our couch (I was literally not much more then "knee high"!) and just drinking in this person with all her good cheer and what I would now call feminine energy. Back then I just thought, how long will she stay? And, can I be just like her?


She must have liked little midget me, too, or maybe her heart went out to her lonesome little admirer. Anyway, she did me an act of kindness that meant more to me than she ever knew. She made me a Christmas stocking. This was not a store-bought stocking, she had made it herself. And...she had touched it, and wrapped it, and given it to me! Wow! To me that was like Sky King landing on the front lawn. Except, this Sky King, who had swept in just as unexpectedly, was a girl, and something about her spoke to my little heart and said, you can be like her some day! And more than that, she gave me a certain warmth I was starving for. Do I really need to add that I treasured that Christmas sock for years and years after? That, when I moved, the stocking came with? Until the last move, when it vanished?


I know that it got mislaid somehow, because when I found Rags, it made me think of that stocking, and I went looking for it in every box and crate in every sunlit or dusty corner of my house, and I never found it. I know I had it at my last house. I was distressed that I had lost it. In fact, I cried. Yep, I did.


I called my brother--this was shortly before I was "outed" by another family member. That is to say, when my brother would still speak to me--and asked him about that girl who came to visit so long ago. Oh, didn't I tell you? I never saw that gal again. My brother married a different girl four years later, and they are married to this day. My brother either didn't remember her at all, or pretended not to. With either of my brothers, it is very hard to tell. Life, to them, seems to be a poker game. So, that was a dead end. But my mother, bless her, remembered her. She couldn't recall her name, but she did remember her, and the Christmas visit.


Shortly after all of that, I was venting to a girlfriend about it all. I said, what a schmuck my brother is! That girl was such a gem, and he doesn't even remember her! Goodness knows what she was even doing with Mr. Sobersides anyway, but it just offends me that he forgot all about someone so special. Well, my friend gave me that look. You know the one, the look your female friends give when they know you better than you know yourself, and are about to clue you in, between sips of coffee. Now, my friend has a rather spiritual view of the world and the things that happen in it. And she said to me, "Maybe she wasn't there for him. Maybe she was there for you."


That "girl" would be 66 years old now, wherever she is. I hope she has led a truly blessed life. She blessed me. Hello! My name is Shay! Arf! Arf! And once, at Christmas time many years ago, someone was kind to me. And I never forgot.

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