WidowVersary — a poem by Vicki Hill

“Baby! Baby!”
The doorway framed a shadow just before dawn
I glanced next to me: unbroken by even a yawn
Sleeps my lover of four near-maniacal years
Of vows, divisions, joys, rows, reunions, laughs, tears
His breath mimicking the rhythmic sounds of waves on shores
He continues in dreamland with calm, unbroken snores
While back in the half-lit doorway no one is seen
The strong voice awoke me– it was no dream–
But I first looked beside me, not again the door, “Why?” I asked
The day that marked my late husband’s death six years past.

February 1,2015

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WHITE GLOVED AUNTY — a poem by Vicki Hill

Married seven times, her first was also her last
She touched up her make-up, who reflected in her mirrored past?
Then carefully seated her veil and hat
Then for a moment impatiently sat

Waiting for uncle whose actions were simpler
Always performed slower but without a whimper

She carefully pulled on crisp white gloves
As they drove to the country, home of her loves:
Her brother’s large family in a sardine-can house
Hardly room enough to add a mouse.

More children in daytime gathered there
Kissed good-bye by a working parent for all-day care

What she sought she discovered as tea was prepared
The white gloves skimmed each surface with precise care
Though 5 of 7 children had cleaned much the night before
They forgot dust atop pictures, lintels of doors.

With success achieved, she pulled gloves from fingers, hiding some glee
Ready to share “dirty” secrets with her man who gladly scanned the screen of TV.

Early Enchantment — a poem by Vicki Hill

Dew drips from non-guttered rooftops as the
Sun lays light more each moment on earth’s canvas
Watch day unfold: captured light is released
To paint dunes, grasses, bracken with long fingers
Soon to reach everywhere.
Cobalt waters:
I look up to see how well the sky matches;
Gull-feather clouds won’t bring rain today, a chance for
A delightful beach walk: a 5-star day, the first for school

Children return their familiar bricks and whiteboards, as
I recall all those years of weeks of ritual acquisition and
Preparation from Aasics to zoology specimens that might be
Needed: the mounting anticipation, anxiety tinged by
Eagerness to leave the limited world of home for that of friends,
Each hour’s variety–even learning– then raucous bus rides home
Unless friends angled by to give a parenting stretched hope thin
For safety. After-school activities smorgasbord to sample, investigate, participate.

I now go to nature’s school, with unexpected finds and knowledge every hour,
Recall the applicable lessons of long-ago, many poetic verses committed
To memory, songs and psalms randomly bursting forth praise as creation bears witness to
Heart and heaven,
Both within view, grasp, hands trained to open, and share.

By Vicki Hill 09-02-2014

The Squeeze of a Hand

For sure, she wanted to go to the Gersh-
win concert at the symphony, so he
bought the tickets on-line and indicated
that they would pick up the tickets at
the box office and then they proceeded
to forget all about the date until he
happened to browse through archived e-
mails on the Sunday morning of the two
p.m. concert and noticed what they had
forgotten. They had just enough time for
a bike ride on a new route around town
before showering and heading downtown.
At a Sunday afternoon concert they could
be assured of seeing a sea of blue hairs,
tripod footed canes and walkers. They
reassured each other that they were
still a long way away from that demo-
graphic, sat in the nosebleed section
and breathed a sigh of affirmation for
their exercise, relief for not having
missed the concert and anticipation of
the music. An inspired Cuban Overture
set the tone and sandwiched between that
and Rhapsody in Blue and An American
in Paris
were sweet songs and lovely
ballads like “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
and “Somebody Loves Me.” He was glad
he had scanned his e-mail archive and
happy she was listening to some of her
favorite music. He didn’t know what
was going through her mind as she listen-
ed intently, but he, while sitting next to
the one he loves, was transported back to
flashing memories of his childhood and
seeing his mom and dad dance in the
living room to Mantovani playing Gersh-
win when those folks weren’t fighting with
each other. And he carefully wiped away
the tear so she wouldn’t notice when he
heard “Someone to Watch Over Me” and
thought about his late wife and how they
danced in the living room when they were-
n’t fighting with each other. Just before
the baton fell with the end of the final
soaring note and the crowd erupted with
shouts, whistles and applause, he reached
over and squeezed his wife’s hand.

Our Chow Hound

The Chocolate Lab lies asleep
at his mistress’ feet.
He’s a hundred pound love hound
happy to have been found
taken in, scrubbed and shampooed,
he seemingly thinks only of food.
The vet said to put him on a diet
of only two dry cups, so we tried it,
and when our tub of love is sleeping
we think he dreams only of eating.
During slumber he smacks his lips;
conjuring images of kibbles and bits?
Because when he awakes
to his food bowl he quickly makes
strides like a racing greyhound
chasing the rabbit into the ground.
He slides the last few feet
finding only an empty bowl to greet,
so he decides it’s time to go back to sleep
perchance to dream of luscious meat.

The Priest Wrote

The scholarly priest wrote, “Let’s trust that
the beauty of our lives becomes visible
where mourning and dancing touch each other.”
It sounds so poetic, ideal, a theory.
Young seminary students listen
intently with eyes almost teary.
But sometimes for those who have experienced
the cruelty of loss and love robbed
the only dance they know is the dance macabre.
So young clergy don’t go forth with any glib plan;
just sit with the brokenhearted and hold their hand.
Be quiet, be quiet, don’t say a word,
but trust that the beckoning of Jesus
will eventually be felt and heard,
and maybe, just maybe the mourner will see
where lovers touch and mourning
becomes the dance of eternity.

The Franciscan Wrote

The Franciscan wrote, “He saw the Kingdom
of Heaven even ‘in the midst’ of the Pharisees.”
The mysticism of Jesus gave him the freedom
to traverse heaven, hell, all mountains and seas
and see what needs to be seen —
the unity of humanity with divinity
in flesh and blood, spiritual, the unseen
and seen, the earth and infinity,
the temporal and the eternal
and also, what most of us see as simply infernal.

From QT to QED

He prided himself in his fecundity
and ended his sentences, “…I rise
to all occasions, QED.”

But life demonstrates reality
and his wife was thumbs down
on her husband’s masculinity.

So she went to the local pharmacy
and purchased a pill or two
to help him keep reality on the QT,

and whispered in his ear,
“Come hither, my dear,
this is the way from QT to true QED.”

Barbie’s Last Stand

Three, big boob, tiny, boy butt, blond
Barbie Dolls of the Valley of the Sun
sauntered into the new, hip microbrewery
completely aware of the stares but feigning
oblivion to the turning heads. Towheads in
tow and a short, frumpy, Latina nanny bring-
ing up the rear, they made their way to the
outdoor tables to join other Valley Dolls.
They hugged each other with teepee hugs
and sat while the nanny chased the kids
around the place and when they were all
seated the nanny stood at attention while
the dolls looked at the menu. Friday after-
noon, their husbands left work early for the
Paradise Valley, Scottsdale golf clubs. Later,
on their way home to their gated communities,
the guys might stop off for a little, nine-
teenth hole, afternoon delight, while
the nanny finally got a chance to sit down
and put her feet up for a little while in
her casa in a south Phoenix barrio before
having to prepare the menudo for her hus-
band and the two kids coming home, one from
a local community college and the other
from ASU.