Sunday, June 28, 2020

Talking to Myself Twenty-Eight

Gladioli borrowed from web

Talking to Myself Twenty-Eight June 28, 2020

She brought in flowers–gladiolas,
my grandmother’s favorite, deep red
and pink orange, fallen over but still
blooming on our dining table. They
brought them  to me in Russia. I was
the guest, given the best food even
before the children. I was taken to
meet the local administrators. They
fed me huge meals, gave me vodka,
danced for me, sang katushki. We
walked and hugged our favorite
trees. Theirs were familiar. Mine
was new. Through trees we spoke
our love, calmed our spirits. You
tried to stop loving me, and I tried,
too. It went too deep.  Feasts were
provided, but I couldn’t eat. They 
showed me their gardens. They
grew their food all around their
house. In desperate times they had
fruit and meat. They were rich and I
shared their bounty, their aching
songs, their laughter. All these
connections. The same flowers;
different times. I still flourish, still
marvel at the treasures I’m given
that I never asked for.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Talking to Myself Twenty-Seven

Three of Judy's Plymouth Rock hens waiting on the back porch

Talking to Myself Twenty-Seven June 21, 2020

Getting back on my feet–quite literally.
Those three toes needed special attention
and protection for eleven weeks in a big 
heavy boot. I had to learn to walk again.
I iced it once a day while I read my
favorite books. I had a walker for nighttime
trips to the bathroom. I didn’t want to
break any more toes. By day I walked on
my own: slowly, deliberately. I made
the meals. Lots of tacos, pizza, spaghetti
sauce, sometimes quiche, homemade
bread, and ginger and lemon grass tea.
I lived indoors, and Tim took care of
the hens and the shopping, carrying
Wag outside and back in. Now the boot
is off. One more x-ray and I’m free. They
all say, “Use a cane.” I still don’t want to,
but I will, at least until 
I walk surefootedly again.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Talking to Myself Twenty-Six

Zinnias and cosmos a few years ago in my backyard.

Talking to Myself Twenty-Six June 14, 2020

Our Corona Virus Nineteen is supposed
to be going away, but each day there
are more deaths, more cases. The numbers
are going up, not down. We are living in
our houses all the time, if we’re careful.
But we see the rebels rushing by in fast
trucks, on speeding motorcycles. The
neighbors play loud music. The reports
of the pandemic show it’s getting worse,
not better. Some people wear masks
in the grocery store, in the mini-mart,
in the post office, but some don’t. They
keep urging us: “Wash your hands, wear
a mask, wait six feet apart.” There were 
protests and worse. People in crowds
yelling, “Black lives matter,” The crowds
carry the virus. We know about germs
now. We’re too angry to follow our
governor’s rules. I lost a filling, but
I haven’t called the dentist back or gone 
for my eye appointment. I can take off
the boot I’ve worn ten weeks. Will I
walk okay? Resume my balance? Go
outside more? Can I help plant the
flower seeds? Can I go back to feeding
the hens? When will it be safe to drive 
to the stores? Let people into the house?
Hug each other? Will I be alive when
the virus finally dies? Or will it die?
Will our lack of patience do us in? What 

will it take to outlive a pandemic?

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Talking to Myself Twenty-Five

Judy beside blue hydrangea bush June 2019 by Doug Williams

Talking to Myself Twenty-Five June 7, 2020

The flowers continue. Daylilies in front.
No one deadheads them. The blue
hydrangeas emerge rapidly. They love
all the rain. Once it dried a little, the
backyard hens go back to their nest
in the flower garden, among the small
spreading sunflowers aiming for the
sky. So many holes in my fences,
and the hens hop into my garden
and then take over the backyard. They
sleep in the dog house Wag rejected,
lay eggs among the bicycles, and who 
knows where else. Grape vines cover
the fencing that keeps hawks out of
the run. Once Tim killed a water
mocassin that had pursued a vole
into the coop. Tim gets out my mower, 
running but not fast enough. Finally,
he figures out that it’s the idler and
borrows a “big paperclip.” Then he
mows both front and backyards.
Janet has been digging out the deep,
thick roots of a wild grass, where we
want to plant big zinnias–all colors--
and cosmos called Sensation–pinks,
whites, lavender. William says he’ll
mend the fence. My next mystery
novel arrives in the mail two days
early. A poetry book review comes 
by email–one I didn’t know about.  
The hens lay lavish numbers of eggs.
In the corner where I have my Russian 
paintings and my Finnish poster of 

glacier-carved islands, I am at home.