Orange Shoes

Photo: Nazeera Meedin (Pinterest)

Photo: Nazeera Meedin (Pinterest)

Orange Shoes
a Haibun

“Oh, I’ve made my share of mistakes,” Emily said. “How boring life would be without them.”

Sunlight stripped across the crevices on her 89-year-old face, creating hills and valleys in much the same way as her life had. But in her deep blue eyes, I saw the shimmer of stars, the reflection of the moon on water.

She took a sip of tea while I tried hard not to worry about the next patient on my list of hospice visits. She needed to talk and I wanted to listen. To really listen. “Do you want to talk about them,” I asked, hoping I wasn’t being intrusive.

“Oh, there was the man I loved who turned out to be pure evil. Because of him, I left a toxic relationship, so it cost me a few bucks. He conned me and broke my heart in the process. Without that lesson, I would never have been able to move on. In his own way, he gave me the gift of courage. And then, the job I took for money—it was pure soul-death, not suited to me at all. But that’s where I met someone who saved my life. I could go on and on; there are tons of lesser things.” And she did while I listened and learned.

Gently, when exhaustion emerged in her expression, she dismissed me. “In the end, I believe, the greatest mistake is not to forgive others or, especially ourselves. And not to forget that we are forgiven by the One who made us. I wear orange shoes with my purple dress.”

blue jay sings off-key
petals fall from the roses
imperfect beauty

Linked to dVerse Poetics where our lovely guest hostess invites us to reflect on mistake we’ve made. I wrote this as a fictional account, but, who knows, there may be some truth within.

If I Knew–Monday Meanderings

Sunrise on Coachella Valley, California

Sunrise on Coachella Valley, California

If I Knew That Death Would Visit Me Today

I’d rise at six to watch the sun bleed color into darkness and stop to listen to the symphony of birds—
the caw of crows and coo of doves and brrrz and twitters of the tiny ones.

I’d walk more slowly, taking in the scents of orange blossoms and petunias. Today I’d let the dogs meander, sniff out every tree and hydrant and anything else they fancied, as long as it was safe.

And then I’d golf—Hole #15 only, hit it over the dreaded water on my first try and be ecstatic with a bogey.I wouldn’t do laundry or clean the house. I’d leave the bed unmade, the dishes in the sink and revel in the imperfection of it all.

I’d read the comics and, if none of them gave me a good belly laugh, I’d drag out my collection of Calvin and Hobbes or The Far Side.

I’d make sure that those I love know it and thank them for making my life happier, for their staying power. I’d ask forgiveness and forgive where needed and not forget to forgive myself.

I’d read and reflect on John 14-16, the promises Jesus made at the Last Supper and hold tight to the hope of things unseen.

I’d write one last poem, pour my joy and angst onto the page. I wouldn’t worry about syntax or grammar–nor even effusive sentimentality. There’d be no edit to obfuscate the things I need to say, no worry about who might read it and what they would think.

In the evening I would slow-sip a glass of Rombauer chardonnay on the patio as we watch the sun jump off the edge of earth,
then I’d slow-dance with my love to strains of a B-Flat clarinet wielded by Kenny-G.

flickrWe sit beneath desert skies and try, once more, to count the stars and if we fell asleep in one another’s arms, that would be okay. If not, I’d wait  in silence for whatever’s next.

The other day when I was walking the dogs, in a hurry as usual, the idea for this poem came to me. I guess the obvious conclusion is: Why wait?