The trouble is I can’t let go.
I go in for a scan and am and told
they will contact me in due course.
Within days I hear nothing and think of phoning back.
How many days does it take to read a scan?
Persistence is a virtue but so too is Patience.
How to balance one against the other?
I phone back anyway.
I’m put on hold.
I’m always put on hold when I practice persistence.
Perhaps it’s a lesson.
Perhaps I should listen..
When does being persistent become pesky?
It’s tricky being human.
Hey! He said. Why are those bozos off the leash and I’m not?
You have Attitude! I answered.
Oh great! People with Attitude should be leashed? What about rappers, revolutionaries, politicians with morals?
There are no such things, I said, as politicians with morals.
You got that one right, he said. And anyway, what about you? You have Attitude. Perhaps you should be on a leash.
Perhaps, I smiled.
Look, he said, let’s change places, just for five minutes. That’s fair, isn’t it?
I had to concede that it was.
Hey! The collar’s a bit tight.
He loosened it a little.
So off we toddled along the beach, he on his hinds, me on all fours, the three bozos scattering seagulls.
I want a holiday from Blame.
I’m sorry I ever knew its name.
It should be sent up in flames.
I know its nasty little game.
From small beginnings it sneakily came
into our lives. Could not be tamed.
No love affair can be sustained
In the endless barrage of Blame.
So let us now both abstain.
I want a holiday from Blame.
A holiday from Blame.
Won’t you come with me?
We can start again.
My body alarms me.
It rings two or three times a night.
Who’s in charge here anyway?
Poetry flowed from me
Like water from a garden hose.
Days were diamonds.
My feet horses’ hooves.
Nothing defeated me.
I was sharp as Sherlock.
Prolific as Zola.
I had two hounds.
The wheels turn.
Accept, my friend tells me, Embrace.
Loss is gain.
Now is the new normal.
I like them too.
I thought I was a basket case
But there’s this thirteen year old
I read about
Who takes anti-depressants
Two drugs for attention deficit disorder
& she takes what I take too.
I know growing up is tough
But I didn’t know it could be
Tough as this.
I could take other drugs,
Ones that she takes
But the doc reckons I’ve got this far
I can go the rest of the way.
I just hope that little thirteen year old kid
Makes it out of the forest okay.
For nights and nights and nights I lay on my pillow, worrying, listening to the rain, even though the skies were clear and starlit and the moon shone through my window like a lantern and I wondered what else I was hearing that wasn’t there or not hearing that was until one day I had my ears syringed with warm water and the wax flowed out in little honey-coloured clumps into a dish the nurse held for me and I no longer heard it rain except when it did.
“Bugger”, says Scruff. “Bugger”.
He’s back to his old intemperate self.
“What’s got your goat now?” I say.
“How am I supposed to get to the top branch now?? You know how I love the top branch. Someone took the tall ladder away and replaced it with THAT RUNT!!”
His wing is pointing at the little ladder against the weeping myrtle.
“Excuse me,” I say, “but you can’t expect the gardener to consult with magpies every time he shifts a ladder.”
Scruffy has that evil look in his eye.
“Besides”, I add, “has anyone ever pointed out those two appendages, one on each side of your body? They can get you places.”
“Sarcastic snob!” he snaps. “I use them all the time like you your legs. Aches and pains. I prefer to hop up rungs.”
“Have it your own way,” I say, but my heart goes out to him all the same. “I know what you mean,” I add. “I’ll speak to the gardener.”
I notice a little spring in his hop.