Writing in Café Covid-19

Original 10/05/2020, Edited 12/05/2021

There’s no dull background noise;
Everything sits in the small foreground.
The music; curated for a young child,
Is as conducive to creative writing as
Feeding a lazy dog all of my pens
And burning each of my notebooks.
This room knows my name,
Yet insists on calling me mother
At every conceivable moment;
At each attempt to concentrate
On putting pen to digital paper.

Although, I’m not being charged extra
For dairy-free milk and chocolate syrup.

Faithless Grief

I’m faithless and unashamed 
For God did not give us grief.
Love manipulated our trust
So that chance could gamble
With the futility of our existence,
Ripping the tense velcro bonds
Of hearts grown together.

I applaud it’s gamesmanship,
For it doesn’t laude it in our faces
By any means other than simply
Gathering the grim and gaunt
In coats of greyed gaberdine.
Long coats hanging as if empty,
Made black from the heart’s rain.

I am faithless and entirely alone,
But still gesticulating to the air:
An open chested final demand
To give back the gift of grief
That greeted me at this graveside.
Need I be a god-fearing glossolalist
To return this heartbreak?

Having ‘That’ Conversation Again

My Dearest Armistead,


Is life a perpetual cycle? 
Because everything seems 
To be happening repeatedly. 
I found myself, again, 
Engaging in 'that' conversation. 

The conversation where 
I hold another person's life. 
The conversation where 
There is only one chance 
To do the right thing. 

I can only hope 
I made the proper choice, 
But I dread that with each cycle 
I am a step closer 
To getting it wrong. 
It seems inevitable that 
I will have blood on my hands 
From being unable 
To do enough 
Or get there quickly.

Every time I have 'that' conversation; 
I am left empty, 
Wishing I could have spoken to him. 
Wishing that I could have soothed him. 
Wishing that he was here, 
And it was all a horrid nightmare.

Why can't someone else 
Accept the burden for a while? 
Why does it have to be me?

Yours,
​Armistead.

The Woman Wore Purple

​I had spent many hours with her,
​Both young and grown.
I had grown beside her kin,
With a mother who shared her blood.
 
She was reckless in my mother’s eyes,
Wild as the wind that she flew on.
A woman who lived by no law,
But by principle of her own heart.
 
She near always smiled at me,
And she laughed at my cynicisms.
We drank several nights away,
At the bar, or on the step of a shop door.
 
Like many young, I fled the nest,
Spread my wings for lands afar,
Leaving them all behind me,
But visiting with growing infrequency.
 
On my return there would be happy reunion,
Drinks, songs, smokes, smiles, laughs.
Gatherings of the now grown and their young,
Besides our elders now older once more.
 
But time did fly by quicker,
And 15 months seems to blink fast.
And soon I am beckoned back,
Returning to see her again.
 
My mother, as always,
Holding the hands of my family,
As a means to hold their souls, their bodies,
And their strength, in an upwards fashion.
 
Me, smiling through, as taught,
Showing that the living are not afraid.
I hold her hair 'twix my fingers,
And braid in flowers as we laugh.
 
I roll her smokes, before my own,
The legality of them questionable,
As she waves between here and there,
Jittery with fear of being wedded.
 
I paint over the hollowing skin,
Lighten her sunken eyes,
With a mixture of tones, pigments,
Creams and powders, brushes and sponges.
 
The clocks strikes and the camera clicks,
She grins as she is wheeled along,
I press the button as she makes vows,
Promises to be short lived and kept.
 
We drank, we smoked, we laughed,
I sang, for she couldn’t any longer,
I walked for her, towing the chair,
And navigated with care and fear.
 
Family gathered, united, strong again,
Smiling at the simple pictures I captured,
Wondering at the beauty of her,
Of her soul, of her love.
 
The woman wore purple,
As a bride, draped in purple and white,
As a mother, through waking night,
As my aunt, when hugging me tight.
 
The woman wore purple,
And when I saw her last, she wore it still.
Though I’ll never see her again,
I know the woman wears purple.

Angels

I do not believe,
Angels do not exist,
Yet three protect me here,
A fourth watches me.
Thank-you.

I love you all.
For everything I am grateful,
Eternally.

I love you all,
More than words.

You are all angels.
Whether here or above,
My angels.

I love you