Fool’s Waltz

Until the day comes when my breath no longer returns to my lungs,
Air lifted away by winter,
Leaving you, yet wanting to stay much longer,
The remains of us forming clear ice sheets frozen atop beds of still water.
When the last faded bloom of your want wilts again,
And the secret garden of our history fades into night, (along with any white moonlight)
Until my words fall like dead leaves floating away in the winds’ sour taste,
Returning my spirit to the the distantly quiet source of persistent music,
Now silenced by time’s mercilessness –
You lose not moment, shaking me off like snow in your hair.
Now I come to you as a stranger.
Familiar my voice rose,
Its sound scented by all the memories of all the private lives ever lived.
Distance drowning me out like tossed off change hitting the bottom of a wishing well,
The fountains of life sang hymnals,
Ringing brass bells louder than every sound ever created
Heard together and at once,
You tune out my questions, drowning me in street curb rain puddles.
The science and the ciphers now long forgotten,
Unsolved crimes untested in time to unknow the names of the dead.
Yet without effort you threw my questions aside.
I waited until another day came and left
(You had long forgotten the word “forever”)
Ridiculous, only a fool waltzes to the time of one.
If I sent you a present, a song wrapped up
With yesterday’s news and knotted with time,
Right in black and white with twine like a fish in day old news,
How then would you refute the indisputable?
(You smile with every last rotting bitter bite…)
You must know what’s inside,
Prying open my hands you find only a joke, a lie, a can of air.
Now drink from the sea of my solace where the blood from my lips drains,
Quenching aching droughts and the thirst of your inventions.

Let’s for the sake of argument say instead of a riddle,
You found a small skeleton key laced between my hands instead,
Trying all the padlocks and gates, You find it only clicks tumblers into place for the unforgiven.
So weak from solutions,
I implore you rest right where you stand.
As my body folds in on itself, as it will,
We hold fast together trapped like silt in the fingers of a delta.
(We steal each other’s answers and quickly shield our guilted eyes).
Maybe next year we can awaken the annuals again,
Dig up the yellowed dirty promises,
Unearthing the worm worn legends and maps to find a way out.

Pull the paper tight before the image sets, etched and stretched,
Spilling out old photos poured onto the concrete floor.
The stuff of a sudden daydream:
I am not selfish with my hope,
Yet this alone drives me home.
If this cure becomes your solitude,
Then in shame, I am, Defeated.

As the image emerges, lighting dim walls,
Our dancing shadows sway together, slowly,
Hold onto me – reach gently into your memory.
Promise to leave the fence unlatched
And now you may go back to sleep unmoved.
Morning drags it’s nails across your still-cold cheek as
Starlings and turtle doves beg you awake to hear their laughter.
They do know you hate the daybreak by hearing my humility.
I reach straight into your pocket to pick at memory’s locks.
I opened you up with the deftness a coroner’s blade,
Leaving scars rough like a saw.
I wanted so desperately to believe you knew me.
So desperately. And
I believe it, too.


Female. East coast transplant living in the Bay Area of California. Living with Stage IV breast cancer. Married to the coolest guy in the universe who occasionally suffers from serious depression. Love my stepsons, although I never thought I'd have that thankless job - ever! And my best friend Simon is also my cat. How I have survived with stage IV: treatments including chemo and surgery; palliative oncology; tenacity; a dark sense of humor; support groups; and my newly reinvented career as a vintage and antiques maven. Some days I miss the old me who led a well respected and well paid life as a business strategist in high tech. So much for that. I blog to simply share my experiences and my poetic approach with others who have cancer of any kind or with their care givers and those who love them. If one person at the very least finds a little commonality or a friend out in the ether tor a smile, a common nod about this experience, or even a link to assistance, then I have accomplished a small but extraordinarily meaningful goal. Go team.

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