Tag Archives: life

A Beautiful, Ordinary Day

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Grass was cut, four loads of laundry washed,
folded and tucked away, the dog was walked,
bills paid, errands run, three pharmacies phoned,
rugs vacuumed, Deebot dismantled and cleaned
and reassembled but still stubbornly suction-free,
workout completed, dinner cooked,
kitchen tidied, and children chatted up.

No illnesses or injuries and trips
to the emergency room, no awful news,
no meltdowns, no car trouble, no impossible
gauntlet of a schedule to try and maneuver,
no wasted time in circular phone menus,
no unpleasant encounters, no regrettable
food or fashion choices made, no puppy
accidents to clean up, no doctor’s
appointments or lab work drawn,
not one single thing was broken
– physically or emotionally.

Day 19

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At The Edge

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Her feet were scorched by the sand. She was never sure
which was worse, struggling awkwardly across
the capricious surface in her sandals or braving
the burn of bared soles in exchange for more agreeable
footing. When she finally reached the wet hard-pack,
where waves left trails of foam, vacant shells, and clumps
of seaweed, she would not have been surprised
to see steam rise as her toes met the ocean edge.

If every struggle garnered such a reward —
the hypnotic, soothing rush and roar,
the restorative chill shared by plumbless depths,
the perspective offered by unbroken horizon,
she’d consider the lumbering, painful journey
more than a fair price.

Day 15

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Life will do what it does
lull us
then toss us airborne
to plunge untethered

Her blond head on the hospital pillow
as she wanders out of our reach
her mother, bedside
calling her home

Another’s cells gone rogue
…the sort through treatment options
decisions to make that alter
marking what now becomes
a time before
a time after

The one keeping to quiet corners
having walked another
beloved to the final
beat of his limitless heart

I’m surrounded by heroes
in the grocery store
who have suffered greatly
but still buy strawberry jam
and avocados
bake pies and grill corn

They have shown grace
and disintegrated in fear and grief
alternately
bedpans have been thrown
fingers laced gently
regrettable words spilled
mopped up later
or later still
or never

We stand firm
lay prone in puddles
get back up
repeat
repeat

This is the only way
Dark and beautiful

July 2017

 

 

Advance Directive – or Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

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Take my heart,
if they deem it worthy,
my lungs and liver.
Use my kidneys and eyes.
Slice up my brain
and look at the lacy lesions.
Learn, study, save people if you can.

After tissue is taken,
cremate what remains.
Dispose of my ashes
somewhere lovely.
Mix me into the earth to plant a tree.
Sprinkle me in a stream.
Scatter me in the woods where I liked to hike.
Heck, you can divide me up,
have people use my ash
to condition their garden soil
or scare off raccoons.
I don’t care how,
just make use of what is left of me.

If my hardware survives the reduction,
Andrew has requested intact bits —
screws and such —
so he can save himself a dime,
…fix a railing
…build a bookshelf.

I don’t want a headstone
in some tended graveyard.
If anything, I’d rather have a bench
placed somewhere helpful
that people can rest on.
I care not about
some lasting memorial.
If it gives other people comfort,
let them do what they must.
It is all about them now.

…But, shield yourself with my stated preferences
if folks become disagreeable and argue.
They might get prickly
as they work through their feelings
about me being gone.
Be patient with them.
Remind them this is just another day
to the universe;
what matters most is kindness.

Please have a party with really good music.
Make an awesome playlist,
let guests take it home as a party favor.
Please dance. Eat cookies.
Read some poetry.
Tell everyone how much I loved them.
Often.
Folks should hug a lot.
Real hugs, long and warm.
Let them laugh.
I loved it when they laughed.

Encourage people to come dressed how they want,
in whatever makes them feel their best and happiest.
They should arrive looking like their favorite selves —
ball gowns or business suits,
sports shorts or yoga pants,
unicorn-barfing-rainbow costumes.
Tell them I wish they’d dress like this all the time.
They are gorgeous
just as they want to be.

Ask people to do something randomly nice
for someone that day.
And maybe on some other days, too,
if they happen to think of me.

Assure them I will always be there
when they are dancing
or singing or playing music
or writing something meaty that they care about.

Maybe go outside.
Strike that. Definitely go outside.
Look at the sky.
Look at the trees.
The world is really pretty.
Tell them I’m part of that now
and I’m delighted by that notion.

And please remind everyone
about how much I enjoyed the ride.
As messy and hard as it often was,
it was amazing.
I’m grateful
I got to experience every painful
and blissful bit of it.

Thank them. Thank them for everything.
They were the ones
that made my life so very extraordinary.

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 5

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morning fix

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an inexplicable traffic knot
no wreck
or struck deer
remnants of someone’s favorite bureau
strewn
leaves us sitting in the early dark
with our steel encased coffees
and minty yawns
damp heads swiveling
for the reason
we’ve paused
no longer on our way
but forced to be fixed
foot on brake
as we wait
suspended in soft rain
breathing
the sealed moment
before dawn

October 2015
Julie Ayers

Matter

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When he pulled on his Union Jack socks
and clipped the bow tie in place
thirty years ago
he didn’t know
that night would lead him
to banana spiders spinning webs
outside his bedroom window
a back lawn crawling with cicadas
their song as loud as a jet’s engine
Planet X spawned dreams
germinated in third grade
realized
three moons of Pluto discovered
two babies named
one kidney donated
a strawberry topped mountain saved

When he first saw her on the steps
of the Yale blue house
hands veiled in white cotton
a pearl button
resting against each clear wrist
he didn’t imagine
nebulas and dark matter
could occupy the same space
he understood relativity
only theoretically
and still had absolute faith
in gravity’s pull

August 2015
Julie Ayers