Poetry Month – April 11, 2022

In the musical GiGi, Maurice Chevalier and Hermoine Gingold sing a sweet duet called “I Remember It Well.” This poem is sparked by the notion that two memories, side by side, record events very differently. 

SISTERS

I sat on the right side
She sat on the left
I turned the pages
She held down our progress

Our mother is between us
Her cool hands stroking our clean hair
I can hear her heart beat with my left ear
My sister with her right

We curve around our mother’s contours each night
Listening to her read
Until we are so sleepy
Dad has to princess-carry us to our beds

Now we are arguing about her last party
It was a red room
No it was gold
It was April
No it was November
Near her birthday
Remember?
We can only agree that there was a party and
She loved it. Especially when everyone got loose and had fun.
Isn’t this fun? she said over and over.
My sister grimaces.
Don’t you remember when that guy puked in our bathroom?
Don’t you remember all the dirty dishes
And the woman who broke three wine classes?
I shake my head.
I remember mom’s friend with red hair
Dancing by herself in the living room.

She and I argue about most every memory
I wonder how her view of the world
Sitting on the left side of our mother was so different

©Lindsey Lane

Poetry Month – April 10, 2022

I love the moment before. I love those infinitesimal seconds between when we ask for something we want and the answer…whatever it might be.  They (the seconds) feel fizzy with excitement and daring.

INVITATION

Can I come over?
Wanna play?
Wanna sleepover?
Can we talk?
May I kiss you?
May I hold your hand?
Wanna Hang out?
Wanna hook up?
Do you want to be my wife?
My husband?
My partner?
Do you want to be with me forever?
Do you want to go for a walk?
Do you want a bite, a sip, a piece?
Of cake?
Of me?
Do you want to?
Will you?
Can we?
Is it possible to…?
This is the moment before.
The moment when  we don’t know the answer
Will she? What if he says no?
This is the moment when everything and nothing is possible
This is the moment when we are full of longing and design
This is the moment when we don’t know the answer
This is the moment full of daring.

©Lindsey Lane

Poetry Month – April 9, 2022

I don’t know why some poems have to be prose poems. I’m sure there’s an M.F.A. reason. For me, they blast out of me like a wind I can’t stop and slam onto the page. I could have written it with line breaks and made you dance down the page. Could have. But then you wouldn’t have felt the blast.

LOST

They were in the car. The keys were. They are always somewhere but sometimes I have to retrace my steps five times before I look in the exact place I believe they are not. No, I’d never leave them there. I must have set them in the kitchen, on the table, the chair. They must have slid behind the cushion, the bedspread, the bookcase. They can’t be where they are, which is in the car. I would never do that, leave them where the car could be stolen. But I did. And it wasn’t. I was distracted, you see. She was with me. We were dashing in and dashing out. It was all supposed to be so breezy. In and out. But it isn’t breezy with her. It’s new. And tremulous. And crazy making. Which is why I left the keys in the car, a place I’d never leave them and then drive myself into another kind of crazy looking for them.

©Lindsey Lane

Poetry Month – April 8, 2022

This poem comes from restricted section of the Concord Public Library in Concord, Massachusetts. The ancient papers were opened to the Whale Rock Workshop under the watchful eye of Gary Schmidt. He asked us to peer into these ancient documents and find the glimmers of story. Story is everywhere.

RUEBEN BROWN

Rueben Brown kept accounts
Meticulous transactions
Repair saddle: Zebulon Smith
Jonas Green Wortham: twenty whips
Money borrowed.
Goods purchased.
Red calf in trade.
Pen scratching paper
Day by week by year
Late at night
End of day

Ruben Brown kept accounts
In a town that counts bodies
Born and died.
One son
Under a small marker
His own
Buried him too
All counted
Late at night
End of the day

When the revolution came
Rueben Brown emptied
His pockets for all the soldiers
kept them shod
and saddled
and bound to their horses.
And buried them
In the ground
Under stone markers
Each entry etched
And scrawled
Keeping account
Late at night
End of day.

©Lindsey Lane

Poetry Month – April 7, 2022

When I became a mom, I loved birth stories. I couldn’t hear enough of them. They are so tender. So individual. As I age, I love the stories about each person’s passing on. They are so tender. So individual. Thank you, Ben Livingston for gifting me this story.

THE END

When you call hospice for me
When the care becomes less urgent
When we are waiting instead of hoping
Pull up a chair
Lots of chairs
Bring the loved ones round
All of them
And talk, let the words drift over me
Let them settle on my hair
And in my nose
Offer me a sip of ginger ale
Every now and again
with chipped ice floating in it
But please keep talking
Don’t leave the room
Not even for chores
Bring the laundry straight from the dryer
Fold it on top of me
And keep talking
I want the sound of your voice to be the last thing I let go of.

©Lindsey Lane