Sunday, April 27

Is It Over Yet?

Wow. I think the winter may have finally ended. The lake beyond the windows of my second floor study, my aerie, is ice-free. Down at the park on the other big lake, the snow fencing is down, and where it stretched across the gently mounded lawn now college students loll, chasing Frisbees, sex with or without love, and dreams in varying progressions. The big blue barrels of sand at the street corners are gone, too. For most of the longest winter ever, a true record breaking season, they served little purpose but that of underachieving trash cans. Sand supplies could not keep up with this year's snow, more than twice the usual amount, and significantly more than on any other year of recorded weather statistics.

For me, the snow was the least of what made this winter challenging, since I drive so little and have such a minor length of sidewalk for shovelling. But my mom was diagnosed with Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis in January, more familiarly known if not any friendlier for the nicknaming: Lou Gehrig's Disease. In February, I lost my job, without warning or reason, and was left abruptly without either income or health insurance. And in March, I walked my beloved old dog to the vet's clinic one last time and carried him up the six steps, laying him down on the cold steel examining table from which he would never again rise. The snow was nothing, really, and still it broke all records.

It is now April. I wrote this poem for my mom. I haven't yet been able to compose one for the loss of my sense of self-worth or for the love of my dog. But here is this poem, for I hope to recover from this winter despite everything, maybe even because of everything.

Mom, Dying

Doesn't there come a
day when the sunrise
is not sufficient, when
the trailed whistle of
some faraway train holds
no whisper of places
unseen, a day when you
will loosen the grip
of your boney fingers on
my pulse and just slip
into the night I have
pooled at your feet
with my ink? Do you
love me enough to

leave me lonely?