at times a poem
that comes to me at morning—
too real to write—
takes away my trembling breath
as it breaks my aching heart
Copyright © Liz Bennefeld, 2020-11-24.
Recognizing the inevitable loss of friends, family members, and mentors over the years.
mourning once again
the loss of those who loved me
who brightened my life
locked themselves away from me—
walked away . . . I stand alone
Copyright © Liz Bennefeld, 2019-11-16.
Day 15 prompt: a “middle” poem
Edited to add: Another in the previous generation of relatives just died this morning; he was 95 years old. Alert and lucid to the end; a low blood oxygen level for a couple days, and then his heart just stopped beating.
what’s the capitol
of the Peace Garden State?
where’s the garden at?
we learned all the answers there
working for Dad, clipping grass
Copyright © 1 November 2019, by Elizabeth Bennefeld.
When we were children (there were seven of us, and I am assuming that others got roped into this, each in their turn), Dad hired us during May and as needed during summer school vacations to maintain the grounds of the village cemetery where he was the groundskeeper and sexton. He didn’t retire until he was in his 90s. There was particular need for us children to prepare the cemetery for Memorial Day and to refurbish things after the influx of visitors during the following months. My brother Tim and I worked together, being close in age, and we would pass the time by challenging each other with such miscellanea as state and country capitols and other interesting trivia.
My mother died three years ago, this month, and my father followed her three-and-a-half months later. Their ashes are buried next to the family monument, near two siblings whose lives were measured in days.
still, silent in their stark frames–
wait for tears to fall
12 months, too short for mourning …
too soon, the memories fade
too short, mourning. Copyright 2017-08-18, by Lizl Bennefeld.
Among the losses that I am mourning is the closure of SFF Net, of which I had been a member since 1997, I think. Believe I didn’t get a newsgroup until the next year. Yesterday I had my first in-person meeting with C., the grief counselor from the local offices of our regional Hospice association. My late mother enjoyed hospice services during the two months that she was in a nursing home, until she died at the middle of November. (Fortunately, the rapid onset dementia protected her from awareness of the national election results.) Our meeting was productive and relaxing. C. is easy to talk to/with/at; she is skilled in keeping conversation going on track, encouraging the general rambling that produces relevant information and genuine emotional responses. And she seems to enjoy my poetry, saying at one point, you’re very good at that—or words to that effect. It was fun to orient her to the members of my immediate family and activities/interactions before any of the children (of which I am the oldest) had left home to attend college.
I have purchased the latest edition of Stress Management (2012, 30th Anniversary), completed the life event checklist for the past 12 months (total was over 300, again), and reviewed the muscle relaxation and imaging exercises for relieving physical stress in my original paper copy.
April is, I understand, national poetry month, and I have, against my better judgment, committed myself to writing at least one poem a day for the next thirty days. A group led by a woman who was one of the members off the WritingChat group that I joined during the nineties. We’ll see just how long that lasts.
The new floor is installed in the kitchen, and I have moved out cookbooks to dedicate one set of shelving to holding the everyday pots and pans. The second, four-shelf unit is holding paper plates and bowls, dog paraphernalia, blood pressure kit, &c. I still need a proper mop and bucket for wet mopping the floor, which is vinyl. May it never overheat!