No one sees the
gray-haired lady in
a wheelchair, hands shaking
Parkinson’s pulsating through her
whole body. But when
Sinatra sings, eyes aglow
grandma is someone again.
She belts out the
best part, you have
a head start, if
you are among the
very young at heart.
It is only a house, wood, paint, single pane glass windows,
but ten years pass and it is no longer ours, no longer
that two-story blanket that covered us in our laughter,
held our bare feet on floorboards that knew our family’s
groove, from Gangnam Style to I ain’t your mama, no I
ain’t your mama, not anymore. Sold, our Spanish
American War casa, Victorian era, master bedroom in
the San Francisco fog, where I daydreamed through
tree leaves and power lines, pondered this and that, scribbled,
loved and prayed on dark rainy nights. This place held
us in moments, just moments that always go on to the next,
the goodbye was always waiting, we left and it said hello.
I actually want the time to show, let the world know that I’m that much closer to the abyss. Aged ringlets at the borders with brown, blonde before that, when hair was just hair. Above my ears a battleground, the grays sending sentinels, accumulating knowledge for the next attack. I stop and stare like Rembrandt with a ballpoint pen, pluck rogue whites from eyebrows where they grow as if I were a 19th century senator. Better than bald, some say, distinguished, the old compliment the old. Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice, my favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young line. Oh but we do, ointments to push back nature, like pioneers clearcutting ancient redwoods. I look in the mirror again, as if it matters, as if I will be here forever, in wonder over the me I see. This face, this head, these gray hairs, human dust clinging to a self making meaning out of molecules.
if anybody asks
I tell them that each month
I add one minute of meditating
to my days, accumulating silence
like pennies in a jar
until the day I’m