poetry, writer, writing

The Empty Seat

I wasn’t prepared for the empty seat at the table. He filled it so dutifully, yet quietly, each meal we shared.

This was the special occasion table, the linen-and-real-plates table. It barely fit our nuclear family of five, but somehow it detonated to fit our husbands and children.

He occupied the seat at one head of the table, across from my mom at the other end for a balanced table. The rest of us scurried to grab the spaces in-between, the youngest in high chairs like jesters off to the side.

This table was solid wood, built for joy. There was the occasional skirmish around it. We mostly broke bread and blew out candles here.

Cancer tried to take it away.

COVID tried to take it away.

The disagreements all families have tried to take it away.

We always came back though, and he sat in that same spot, asking his grandchildren and sons-in-law for extra ice cream and cheesecake, a procurement specialist for the good things in life.

This was the only throne he ever wanted. He was head of state in this fatherland. He will always fill that seat.

poetry, writer, writing

If I Could

If I could carry you on my back

To the next place, a fortress of peace, I would.

A million memories like threads

Of alabaster spiderwebs will still exist

If I could absorb your pain and any sadness

In the sponge of my soul, I would

A movie of what we were and will always be,

Beautiful and righteous, will play on

If I could rock you in a cradle of my arms

To a sweet, unending sleep, I would

Pieces of you are intertwined in all of us,

Filling the darkness of life’s lattice with good

And to carry you on in all that is done, I will. We will.

poetry, writer, writing

I Am Rich With Female Friendships

I am rich with female friendships.

Their moments of unconditional support,

Draping on me like the finest jewels.

A wealth that no bank can hold,

Providing gentle power to wield.

I am rich with female friendships.

Their laughter plated and served,

Feeding gourmet to my hungry soul.

Bountiful truths like good credit,

Opening access through gilded doors.

I am rich with female friendships.

Their apt comfort when needed,

Supplying emotional cash for peace.

A check that keeps getting written,

Never bouncing if times are tight.

I am rich with female friendships.

Their beauty, so unique, so bold,

Burying a treasure chest inside my heart.

A currency to be carefully invested,

Returning dividends, no limit to reach.

I am rich with female friendships,

The kind that couldn’t be bought,

Maximizing my life’s profit and yielding abundant love.

poetry, writer, writing

Saturday at the Blue Owl

I came here to talk about love and those broken years we stayed apart.

We were sisters back then, giggling over two cups of coffee.

Now we are strangers to our newfound intricacies,

staring into the frothy abyss.

I want to tell you about the times I thought of calling you.

Could my words be a salve on our fracture?

A bandage between our past and future?

We are silent for a moment as the girl places a malcontent order,

full of demands, and then regrets over what she did not add to her latte.

I am full of the empty space you left in my heart those years ago.

Our bond was born from the tragedy of September 11.

You knew what to say to me as if we had been childhood friends.

You picked me up off the floor as I wept over a broken marriage.

You cheered me on as I returned to fix it.

You rushed to my aid as I had three kids.

I tried to fill your heart with the things it might be missing.

Then all that business about nothing ground us to dust.

And our friendship became the tragedy,

replacing the one from which our sisterhood was born.

Now here we sit on an overstuffed couch, a fine mist of milk in the air,

surrounded by people in search of Saturday’s buzz.

I came here to talk about love. I came here to love you again.

poetry, writer, writing

Morning Mourning

I mourn in the morning,

When no one can see.

The French press of my emotions,

Coursing through me.

My tears awake,

As the moon goes to sleep.

But when the sun says hello,

I cease to weep.

For the day returns in glory,

Calling me to live.

I tuck away day-sleeping sorrow,

For the joy I have yet to give.

I mourn in the morning,

When no one can see.

My now past yields to my present.

I am once again free.