Friday, May 31, 2013

The Ocean

Though I cannot see it through the dark, I can hear the ocean from here; the surf crashing against the rocks, the current sweeping the water back and forth: 
Swoosh Swish Swash
Breakers throwing themselves onto boulders, pushing into crevices:
Plop—Plip—Polyp Plup—Ploop—Polyp Polyp—Plop—Plop
No two waves sound alike.

The guest bedroom is overlooking the bay from the villa’s second floor.

The rich are not happier, I can tell you that.  They simply conduct their feuds and brood over their problems in specious, tastefully furnished houses.  Fine wine stacked in the racks.  Porches hover over the ocean.  Expensive cars in the driveways. 

Blue blooded New Englanders.  Well educated.  Well traveled.  Well manners.  (Their vacation homes were bought while my grandparents escaped flaming Europe.)  I cleverly interject a comment into their conversation here and there.  To get their polite attention for one, perhaps two minutes.  Unfamiliar with their terminology, following the chat around the dinner table feels like cracking open a beer bottle with my teeth.

I do not ski
I am not well connected
I am not even from here

In the morning I will wake to the summery sun pouring through the windows, and step downstairs to the morning room for some coffee.  But tonight I shall lounge on the wide guest bed with my laptop for company and listen to the ocean, as the surf crashes against the rocks: 
Plep—Plop—Polyp  Ploop—Plip—Plup Plop—Plip—Ploop

I peer into the inky night, and the ceaseless waves wash away my worries.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Road

Nice car.
I like that light blue.

Who’s driving it?
Long dark hair … She looks somewhat familiar.
Do I know her?

Gee, she’s going fast,
Zipping through the streets with
Open windows.
Pursed lips.
Eyes squinted.
Brow frowned. 

I wonder where she’s headed.
Meeting someone?
Do I know him?

The landscape is opening up with each mile.
Trees canopying above,
Sunrays filter through the
Tender springtime leaves. 
Soon the road will cross a covered bridge.
Underneath, the tranquil flow of water would
Murmur its melodies. 
The driver's hair billows in the light breeze.
Is a smile forming on her lips?

I like driving in the countryside
Where I can finally
                                    b r e a t h e

Friday, May 3, 2013

When I Was Eight

When I was eight, my mom
Told us to draw the black curtains over the windows at night.
My dad wasn’t around. None of the dads were around. When I

Was eight, my younger sister and I would rush
Down the stairs to the bomb shelter when the sirens went off. My aunt,

Who lived in the apartment above us, painted the shelter shortly before.
She covered the walls with babyblue clouds, large flowers,
Butterflies, birds.

When I was eight,
We lived on the second floor of a four-story building.
There was a thrill of excitement for my sister and me when
The sirens went off; we dashed down the
Neverending stairs with tingling feet.

When I was eight, we sat in our beautiful shelter,
Reading our books, eating our snacks, waiting for the second alarm.
The one that told us we could go home.
I was always worried I’d run out of reading materials.

Decades later, I am thinking of the mothers and children on the other side.
Like us, they too were
Left to wonder what is happening above ground.
Near and far.
We, the anonymous mentions in history books.
We, whose fathers were fighting each other
While we kept waiting.
And the whole while,
The fighting and the waiting were collapsing
Into each other.

The fighters had sandy trenches. Explosions. Fright.
We had waiting.
All that waiting.
In the beautiful shelter
Among babyblue clouds, flowers, butterflies, birds.