I Never Thanked Them

img_1003    Today I met a woman about my age.  She told me how many times her children thanked her for moving to America to give them opportunities they would not have had in their small town, which she characterized as small, unsafe, lots of guns, lots of drug dealers.  She raised five children here in America, all in college or college graduates.  And now it is her turn, she said, to go to school.

I was so bitter and angry growing up I never thanked my parents for anything, not even the now obvious sacrifices they made so we children could go to good schools.  I was too busy feeling like a victim to appreciate they sacrificed a lot–I didn’t see it at all.

As I walked in the woods this afternoon, I was full of regret.

Is it possible to thank the dead?

All I could think to do was embrace the beauty around me, the trees, wildflowers, gorgeous sky and say thank you, Mom and Dad, I wish I had thanked you while you were alive.

I hope my life itself and my embracing of literacy have shown my appreciation, but I doubt it.  I took it as my due while I tried to distance myself from my family, my neighborhood, and especially my father.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.  I wish I had told you that while you were alive.  While you were far from perfect and even destructive at times, I acknowledge you made big sacrifices so we could have a better life.

How I wish I had told them that while they were alive– thank you for the sacrifices you made so we could have a better life.  No, that’s not good enough.

Thank you for helping me have a good life.

Change of Style

                         I wrote two poems recently in a very different style  from what I usually write. I brought one poem to a writing workshop tonight. Three of my colleagues in class cried. (They said it was a good thing.) It was a poem about the changing seasons and when I got to the line about when summer returns to autumn? I heard sniffling.

I think I’ll play around with the poem a few more times and make it better. Then submit it somewhere.

***Done. Worked a lot on this poem and submitted with the other one.

And what’s with speech to text that it does not recognize POEM? It types it as POME. Isn’t POEM a common word anymore?

Thanks for reading!

A good science news site

sky-earth-galaxy-universe    As I wrote before, I’ll be sharing what I have found to be   interesting, novel, important, or fun websites.

Here is another site worth visiting for science news.  Science affects us all on a personal, societal, and global level.  Interesting and important articles. I’d do some reading there.  If you know of any other good science sites (for a layperson like me!), I’d love to hear about them.  I know very little about science… but know it’s important to keep learning.

Sciencenews.org website

Train to No One

        trains black and white

From a year ago… places and memories…

I hold back, reluctant to get on the train. The train—a practical method of transportation. Leave the driving to us. Quick, mostly reliable. I can read during a train ride. I can daydream, as long as don’t fall asleep. Easy way to get to the new doctor’s office.

But the hold of place, the memory in the body of place.

This is where I used to get off the train and meet Earl, walk and walk and talk and talk away the day. We’d discuss teaching, life, family, everything and nothing. We’d talk about Ruth, his dearest friend for decades—how they loved one another but could not live together. We would go book shopping and I’d meet yet another member of his huge extended family. To meet Earl was to meet many wonderful people.

This is where I used to get off the train and meet Ruth, walk and walk and talk and talk away the day. We’d discuss teaching, life, family, everything and nothing. I helped edit her book, helped teach her about computers. We’d talk about Earl, her dearest friend for decades—how they loved one another but could not live together.

They are both gone now.

And I feel it in my body, this grief. And I get off the train to what—to no one.

I walk towards the doctor’s office, hoping he is busy and running late. I pass no bookstores on the way.

Train to no one.

Prose Poem/ Didn’t Say Good-bye


For the students:

Cool spring night in April. Red bud blooms just starting to soften, School nearly over— We wanted to say good bye.
A dozen gathered for fire and ghosts (We were too old for Ghost stories– We mostly laughed at them.) But huddled closer before the end of school We wanted to say good bye.
Nearly full moon peaked gold on the horizon, watching us, laughed at us a bit, hid back in the clouds then showed its silver side.  Showed up in our ghost stories–the hide and seek moon. We just wanted to say good bye.
Twelve, a dozen motley crew on a Saturday night, asking if it was time to go home, but no one wanted to leave the flames gold, flickering, magical like the moon’s silver— They held us in place. The talking stopped, But we were saying good bye.
I slipped away, knowing Mom needed me– I didn’t want to disturb them, my suddenly silent but free and sweet silver and gold friends.  Flames calling me back but Mom needed me. I didn’t get to say good bye.
I heard it, the explosion. Ran back but I was too late. Faces, arms, hands just gone. Explosion then sirens and crying, sobbing and smells and screams
I didn’t say good bye.
For the students and their families, a made up story but the sentiment is sincere. I am so sorry for your pain, so young, so tragic. I keep thinking about how the young one’s lives, and the lives of their families, friends, school community, are changed utterly. I wish them well, wish they healing, but know such trauma, such injuries have long lasting effects. So I wrote a poem for them, a silly gesture, because I don’t know them, I won’t ever know them, but I can imagine being young in the night, right before the end of a school year….in the nearly full moon light, with the flickering fire before you…a night of silver and gold and them tragedy.