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When I awakened this morning, I recalled a friend from church sharing her back exercises with me months and months ago. I’m not sure if it was a dream I’d caught by the tail or a piece of a memory. But friends do that. They help each other. Today I made a pot of coffee and worked on a poem. The poem is still raw, but it has potential. I did this with dishes staring me in the face. So much order needs to happen in this house, and I write a poem. A sciatic nerve has slowed my world down for a week. No interest in housework. No interest in cooking. I just want the pain to go away in the lower back and leg. Hard to believe, but Ibuprofen does not touch it. While I’m in the midst of trying to fig

Prayer List

The list from my church grows longer and longer. That’s where I see names of those to be prayed for in this tangled world with its troubles. The list cannot capture all the struggles, but it’s a beginning: cancer victims, the grief-stricken, lost ones, the poor, the caregivers, the military, those ailing from body aches and diseases, accidents, family issues, anxious mothers, jobless fathers, unity for the country, those in nursing homes, alcoholics and drug addicts, relationship issues, the lonely, governmental decisions, children, churches, community, ourselves. On and on it goes…. No one questions the trueness, the realness on the list. In addition, there’s the unspoken. Whenever someone

Happy Days in Frozen February

No one calls it a reunion, but two brothers and a sister (with spouses) come together. They are in their seventies and still have one another. Each one, aware anything can happen to any one of them. Two couples contend with the whizzing freeway world to get here and hide from city scenes. It’s freezing February. We feed redbirds and finches which flutter freely. It’s a place where the sun climbs and descends hills. We keep appointments, but in the back of our heads, we savor a brightness, a knowing: They’re coming, they’re coming. We do not linger to watch the clouds today. They’re coming, they’re coming. While they drive through fog, mist, and rain, our Lab’s curiosity goes toward trouble.

Beyond Me

Beyond Me (in memory of Karen Hayes) Mindlessly scrolling, a familiar photo pops up with the death announcement of the queen of skinny poems. Read it more than once. This woman helped me with a poem days ago. How I want to share with the world about her sincerity, humility, love of life, but wham! overwhelm took over. My mind muddled— this news had to rock and shock others, too, even change the topography of Arkansas, buckling into Missouri. Long rivers probably flooded and flowed backwards. Strange how brains of people turn dumb and numb with bad news. Surely lips stalled, silences deepened everywhere. Interstates must have halted at the news, same as when towers fell or a polar vortex froz

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