Thanksgiving, a Day Late–dVerse MTB

Thank You for Those Little Things
An Acrostic List Poem

Image: Acrylic on Canvas by Victoria C. Slotto 2009

Image: Acrylic on Canvas by
Victoria C. Slotto

Giving Thanks

Green grass, each blade dormant now, sending roots below;
Icy patterns on the panes, nature’s graceful art;
Virgin snow upon the plains, blanketing our world;
Indigo—God’s nighttime sky, sheltering our sleep;
Nesting birds and buzzing bees, harbingers of spring;
Goodness in an aging heart, gently touched with grace.

Turkey, gravy, yummy food, shared with those we love;
Hedgehogs, chipmunks, furry things, living by the river;
Avian beauties in our yard, feeding on the seeds;
Nasty winds and pounding rain, steaming tea or coffee;
Kites and bubbles, children’s toys, keeping youth alive
Silent moments, solitude. Blessing so abound.

I’m especially grateful for you, all my blogging poet friends at dVerse, who have enriched my life these past years, with the gift of poetry and of yourselves.

I’m linking this to dVerse Meeting the Bar, where Brian is hosting a Thanksgiving post. I’m happy to see him back in the pub, and happy to be back myself, after a quite hectic few months and some very sketchy poetry.

Of Hand-Holding and Hugs–Monday Meanderings




Today, David and I had a couple of errands to run—one of which took us to Target to get some dog-care items that we can only find there. As we exited the store, David took my hand. I don’t think I would have noticed because it’s just what we do but then I spotted a middle-aged couple ahead of us, hand-in-hand. And headed in our direction, a young couple, his arm around her. I couldn’t but smile and feel grateful. Here we were: young, 40’ish and older (that’s us), still reaching for one another, still loving and caring for each other.

This brought to mind that today would have been my parents whose 62nd Wedding Anniversary. Both of them had lost their first spouse at an early age and remarried in their 30’s. Right up into their 80’s people would stop them to comment on their obvious affection for each other. And that affection extended beyond us, their family, to many, many fellow travelers on the road of life. One time when I was visiting them, years ago, noted author and lecturer Leo Buscalia made his way through several tables at a Denny’s restaurant in Pasadena to comment on the obvious joy they still found in one another. He said something to the effect that—this is just what I’m trying to communicate in my books.

Mom is still alive at 93, living with a slowly progressive dementia. I called her today but decided not to bring up the date—she remembers my Dad every day and misses him so much. I was afraid I would trigger a bout of unnecessary grief.

Each day I learn more about the fact that, if a marriage or committed relationship is to be for the long haul, both partners have to be willing to put in a lot of work. I learned that first hand growing up, watching my parents deal with the huge challenges of a blended family from very different backgrounds—one that included two daughters the exact same age. (I won’t go into detail about that!)

bestinshowdailySo this week—for those of us who are blessed to still have our partners, let’s focus on being present, expressing love and acceptance, going out of our way for the other. For those of you who have lost a loved one, nurture a loving memory with gratitude—even if that relationship did not have a happily ever after ending. It’s possible to learn something from everyone who is or has been a part of our lives, isn’t it? And for those who are still waiting—may you be open to both the wonders and the work aspect of a relationship.

Sorry that this sounds a bit preachy but when someone has lived a long while, has failed, gotten up and kept on going, when someone keeps trying to love and accept—maybe you will forgive them for thinking they have something to share. God knows, our poor world needs a bit more hand-holding and a lot more hugging.

Have a love-filled week.


Find Leo Buscalia’s books at 

Titles include:

Love: What Life is All About;

Living, Loving and Learning;

Loving Each Other and more.

The link will take you there.

Good Friday Ritual

Photo: Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, California by Frank Iley

Photo: Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, California
by Frank Iley

Remember back when we were kids?

Mom would load us into the back seat of her ‘53 Buick

and haul us off to Calvary Cemetery.


A stop at our favorite flower vendor,

the sweet scent of stock,

sickening, filled up the car.


We’d visit your mother

and the grave of an unknown soldier, a few rows down

for my father whose body was, who-knows-where.


At noon she’d hush us up

to observe the three hours

and hand us tuna fish sandwiches on Wonder bread

soggy by now ‘cause of too much mayo.


We’d eat in silence, giggling,

not knowing how to spend the time,

not knowing how to pray.


Today—no cemetery.

Today—no mushy sandwich.

Today—she won’t go.

“I’ll be there soon enough,” she says,

but you are there—alone.


I wrote this yesterday for Day 18 of National Poetry Month. The three hours refers to a traditional practice of spending noon to three PM in silent prayer, in observation of the time Christ was said to hang upon the cross.

A Server of Memories

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

Photo Credit: V. Slotto

It tells its stories of decades past, stories infused with the scent of frying bacon and eggs basted in better— its fine-hewn blade that slipped with ease beneath the crispy whites. And just-brown pancakes awaiting the slather of melted butter and maple syrup (before we knew better). Stories of a family gathered ‘round blue flames of a 1950’s stove each Sunday. Planning for the unraveling of a new day and vying (without luck) to decipher the morning’s sermon delivered in a heavy Irish brogue. I found it yesterday, huddled between the tines of a fork, buried in the back of a deep, cluttered drawer at the old house. The handle, worn now, yet serviceable, red, ridged texture cradled in the palm of my now-wrinkled hand, serving up remembrances of simple days, days before these hands touched pain, held loss. The crack along the back, like earths’ seismic proclamations of changing landscapes, changing lives. Its stainless steel paddle smooth as ice, pressed against my flaccid cheek, a recollection of Mama’s touch upon my fevered brow. And breakfast. Who would have thought it would take this long to find it? Who would have thought I would be the last?

Written for dVerse Open Link Night. Join us and drink deeply of poetry.

The Watch

Photo Credit: knowitallnanna via Google Images

She sits at her post today,
as she does everyday—
early morning,
late afternoon—
she’s there.

Trains clouded eyes,
(once blue,)
on the desk where visitors sign in,
gnarled hands folded in her lap,
hands that once gave pleasure
and care.

Beneath etchings
on her weathered face
I conjure youthful beauty,
presume pride taken

each Tuesday
in preparation for stolen moments
with her lover—
the rogue who left her
and their child.

“Gabriel n’est pas encore arrivé”
she sighs at the end of every watch—
the only words she speaks
all day, everyday.

Dust motes dance as fading sun
slices through crisp evening air.
She shuffles down the hall
to the room she shares with Marquerite,
wearing loneliness
like a purple shroud.

Forty years, or more, have passed.
Her son, I wonder—
did he ever visit?

Today at dVerse Poets’ Pub, Stu McPherson invites us to mix up a blend of the melancholy and the beautiful. My thoughts took me back many years, to when I lived and nursed in France, in the Jura.

Much of my career was involved with working with the elderly. This story-poem is a fictionalized account of a woman in a nursing home environment. The reality is that she did, indeed, spend her days waiting for Gabriel to visit. (Funny–I remember his name, not hers). All the rest is fiction. As far as I know, she had no one. Her son, Gabriel, may have been dead, or…who knows?. The lives of older people are ripe for speculation.

I’ve always sought to remember that the aged have histories. Looking with care, one can see the beauty and joy (or sorrow) that may once have been theirs. This poem needs a lot of work, but it’s my offering for today’s Poetics. Critique welcome!


sometimes you strain to garner magic
that supposed-to-be-moment
of days set aside to remind
us of this or that but snug
within your core of pretend-this-is-special
simmers a memory, an understanding
that this frou-frou feeling
inauthentic grasping of what-used-to-be
stands for something more.

down the street at the end of the cul-de-sac
an old woman lives alone
a mostly dark house with tight-closed
shutters and peeling paint
shielded from neighbors’ bright-light-christmas
oh-so-white reindeer on the lawn
rearranged by kids one block over

wrapping paper
neglected now in disarray

in the kitchen an argument ensues
it’s too early to put the turkey
in the oven remember last year
how dry it was

from the den loud snores
uncle jack drank too much again
same as always

in here
my thoughts prowl meaning
sun pours through the half-moon
window above the door
that later in the day
will welcome others
we haven’t seen or spoken to
in months

my dogs relax
cuddled at my side
backlit by rays
content and cared-for
knowing we are present

i get it then
that’s what today is all about

This is not meant to be a downer, but rather to look beyond the fluff of holiday celebrations and get to the meaning behind them. I’m linking this to dVerse Poetics and to my own prompt on Presents vs. Presence. Also to Gooseberry Gardens where the prompt is Holiday Traditions. .

Merry Christmas, all. I hope you do get to taste the magic of the holidays.