Witches

I’ve known some witches in my time

Not the cloistered crones of legends; although, they, too exist

Cackling over crackling cauldrons

Working at wickedness for fun and profit

No, those I’ve encountered don’t give a newt’s eye for sinister stews.

They are the progeny of those who could not be burned, who steadfastly refused to drown.

Is it any wonder, then, that men fear witches?

Happy Halloween, people.

Afternoon on the Lake

The squirrels showed up first,

Chittering and bushy tailed

Scrambling for acorns they’d hide

But never find again.

A flash of red announced a cardinal

Who watched warily as one

Determined squirrel chose to dig

Too close for his comfort.

Another cardinal followed,

Then a blue jay asserted himself

Into the mix, loudly searching for tidbits

Among the oak leaves littering the yard.

Even a lizard crept along the red bricks

Hoping to go unnoticed,

But I spied him, as did the cat.

All while gentle ripples stirred the lake

Dry leaves rustled in the wind, and

An unseen songbird trilled an apology.

He must’ve been late to the party.

Open. Closed. Open.

Who am I to question the way a door is opened?

Push. Pull. Lift latch. Turn knob. “Abracadabra”

So what if I choose incorrectly at least half of the time?

Enter. Exit. Round and round.

When last we talked I caught a glimmer of remorse. Maybe you would choose a different door this time, or maybe find a new way to open it.

We were friends once. Invisible doors were slammed. I lost a figurative finger.

All I’m saying, is I’ll help you open that door again. We can lean against it together.

A Splice of Life

I spliced the scenes together

The early days of flickering frames in shades of black and white,

Three channels and Walter Cronkite’s signature sign-off, “And that’s the way it is.”

We begged for a color tv, if only for the Rose Bowl parade broadcast, but

I’d outgrown the delight of floats bedecked with hundreds of thousands of flowers by the time

The old RCA was replaced by a bigger, shinier new Zenith. Bonanza in color and Little Joe in

My dreams. Yeehaw.

(I owe the idea for this one, in part, to my friend LA at Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50.:

https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/and-thats-the-way-it-is/)

A Nice Wine Makes it Right

I want to be happier than I was yesterday, but not quite as happy as I’ll be tomorrow

Like that old saying I heard somewhere when I was much younger and had better retention

Only, it had more to do with love than happiness, and while the two are closely related

They can be mutually exclusive. I’ve been happy without being in love and in love without being happy

Damn. Is that as deep as I think it is, or is that just the Cabernet Sauvignon talking?

People

There’s an 80-something woman I know, dyes her hair magenta, wears Chanel No. 5 and purple blouses

My banker is a young, Black man with perfect teeth, and the soul of a poet. He performs at open mic nights

I’ve heard of a child who isn’t. Born on the wrong side of an imaginary line, she huddles with others in a cage

The woman next to me in the grocery store marks her territory with an angry stance and sad, old eyes

Death claims a friend, robbing all who loved her of her sweet spirit. She comes around in my dreams

Me? I’m a watcher, hoisting a glass to those who’ve touched my life, for better and sometimes for worse

Who are you? Add a verse.

Peace, people.

Found the photo of the sculpture on Pinterest.

The Leaning Tree

Winds have bowed him awkwardly,

Casting him askew to the others.

Maybe, though, he’s just leavesdropping,

Inserting himself into the discussion between

The sweet magnolia and the mighty oak

Across the way, shaking boughs and

Whispering poetry, listening for the owl.

Maybe he’s yearning for the lake,

Hoping for a cool breeze and a sip of water,

Or perhaps, like you, he’s just weary and

Seeks the loving arms of a companion.

Who am I to judge this leaning tree?

I’ve leaned too, in my day, and

Will again in the days to come.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow

I will take the time to linger by the lake,

To touch my toe tips to its cool surface and watch the flash of fish

Slip beneath the weeds.

Tomorrow I will pluck a daisy, counting off the petals,

Each one a vindication or a soft rejection, who needs that kind of

Fickle love anyway?

Tomorrow I will bake the bread, rolling and kneading and

Watching it rise, the smell of warm yeasty goodness almost making me

Swoon with giddiness.

Tomorrow I will honor the friends whose days were cut short,

I’ll wear patchouli on my wrists and dress in a gypsy skirt, maybe with bells

Announcing my arrival.

Tomorrow