literary widow, you are the real thing

literary widow

Chamber concert Sunday
afternoons
social at noonday
is okay
night it is hard to
drive I can’t see well
have to have cataracts
removed
literary widow
has work to do
but sometimes doesn’t
feel like doing it
trash novels and tv shows
to numb the mind
the waiting rooms
with people who
are courageous
I am not the kind
of wife or daughter
who leaves because they
cannot handle it
I gladly was a
caretaker
and now feel lost
having no one to
care for
I used to be
shy and self-conscious
but now I am
open with people
why not, we are
all human beings
going through the same
things
this is my
home now
I like the light
and the seasons, and
having the sense
of being outside
of industry

you are the real thing

(I fear I was the
daughter who left
because she could
not handle it
I have seen a
beautiful woman
who is somehow the
same as me—
a good, wise, older
me
guiding me up
and down
the elevators and stairs
giving me the
good view at lunch
telling me Allen Ginsberg
was a friend
he came to visit
not being able to
go out at night to
the readings because
they remind you of your late
husband
and how you are left
alone without him
your art on the walls
and purple shoes
swinging under the
table and stylish clothes
I know I love you
like the light
in the morning:
how the landscape
can be white
with hushed frost
fields
and then a
huge brown doe
standing in the
street at the edge
of woods
thick in her
winter coat
shockingly alive
brown and wild
and unscared, wagging
her tail
“you are the real
thing” she says
you are the real thing
editing down down
to make little things
of beauty
purple lung shadow
clouds
facing orange she
clouds
at sunset
always facing
west in my office)

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