Retreat

© Sarah Whiteley

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2.12.2015

snippets from the past few days

the snowdrops have been stepped on by some unwary foot – they are closer now to mud than to sky – but the crocus persists and the daffodils are showing their greening tips

I had to side-step several puddles of blood on the sidewalk outside the office one morning while the police tried to tape them off – a man stabbed apparently kept right on walking – I felt like I could relate

I wake most mornings at 2 AM with my heart thrumming like a sparrow trapped in a 50 gallon drum – and it is the strangest sensation to feel empty except for the beating of frantic wings – on lucky days, that goes away

Knock-Knock has learned a new vocalization that somewhat approximates a soft bark, not unlike what Freyja sounds like when she calls the crows – I am intrigued and pleased by this

Coyote has been extra amorous with his mate, and in another few months, I will hopefully have a new blue-eyed fledgling or two that he will let me photograph

I briefly met someone at the office whom I strongly suspect is a very shy, closeted smart-ass – this makes me want to invite him to coffee so that we can enjoy the comfort of being smart-asses in like company

three gin & tonics and eight pieces of sushi with raucous friends is better than hours of therapy; a peaceful hour spent painting is just as good

January Goes

My piano has always been a means of communicating and processing my emotions. Playing has carried me through some very tough times. When words fail me, sometimes this is the only voice I feel I have. And I’m extremely grateful I have this outlet. Hope you enjoy the newest composition!

January Goes

counting the dead

a woman at work innocently asked
and where’s your other brother?

even after ten years I often cannot
bring myself to say he’s dead

so I said Minnesota instead,
which I think he’s probably laughing about

wherever he is or isn’t

saying now that I have one brother
feels false as soon as the words are formed

so there must be a way of counting the dead –
but until I find a math that works,

I have two – although one of them currently
is unreachable somewhere in Minnesota

© Sarah Whiteley

I really did say “Minnesota” though I don’t know what possessed me at the time. And he would be laughing over it, which makes me smile. But I still never know whether to say I have two brothers or one.

Invincible

children should be Invincible

impervious to anything
beyond skinned knees
scraped elbows

their only worries
worms on sidewalks
the coolest pencil box

and whether Grandma
is up in heaven
looking down –

not going to see for themselves

© Sarah Whiteley

Sometimes it’s either let it out, or fall to pieces. This is me letting it out. Hug your kids, people.

days like this

days like this it’s best to go home
pour a couple fingers of something stiffer
than the current state of your knees
and think about the things that do make sense
like opening the window and letting in December
for a few brisk moments and turning up that jazz
until the riffs absolve you of the sins of the day
– just for a minute, anyway –
or living off the vicarious high of the dogs’
hello’ing tails grinning with a jubilance I think
god reserved just for the canines of the world
or maybe just saying I love you to the ones
who don’t hear it often enough
a stiff drink and a brisk wind might not fix
what ails our hearts, but it’s a better
remembrance than simply breaking apart
under the fearsome brunt of days like this

© Sarah Whiteley