Roots

orbsGrandma, please stay in this house.
I want to visit you here when I’m all grown up.

Awe, such an odd request… have I really moved so much? A quick mental count of addresses (five) since this child was born eight years ago reveals a short list compared to my lifetime change of no less than 36 addresses.

Maybe more… it is easy to forget some places.

I grew up moving, new school every year, and never grew too attached to anywhere as an adult. Home is where you hang your hat, no matter where you are. Perhaps a little too Winnie the Pooh for cartoon psychology? Was it Piglet who said, “I go everywhere I go?” Twirled with Popeye’s “I am who I am” on down a life path of Paddington Bear adventures, clicking my heels together three times will not land me back in some magical place called home.

Okay Zarah, grandma is putting down roots… bought the house, with full intentions of staying put for the duration, if I am still alive and breathing on this planet when she is all grown up.

I requested a Burpee Seed Catalog… all wish books should be made of paper, even if you can flip pages online. I need to plant daisies, strawberries, and sunflowers to make the beds feel like mine.

Has it only been three months?

I lived downtown for three years, but obvious changes made me feel like a visitor to DoYo when I hopped the bus to run some errands in my old neighborhood. I had planned to buy Sumatra at Friends… but, the coffee shop is gone now, with brown paper “closed for business” signs plastered on locked doors. Circle revamped their store layout. That’s cool… they are adding more grocery items. Crossed paths with a bearded man who used to hit me up for a buck now and then, when he was clean shaven. New employee at Joe Maxx, who made me repeat my order.

How hard is it to understand that a request for a “tall” coffee means the customer wants coffee in the tall cup? Small, medium, and large are heights baby, not diameter sizes… they all take the same size lids.

Whoa… when did Joe Maxx change their to-go cups? The new not-as-stiff white paper cups totally suck… I ended up fighting with the lid as it kept popping off with the slightest pressure on the sides from just trying to pick it up. Before walking out the door, the dude was kind enough to swap the large for a medium cup, on which the lid stayed on better. Wish they’d go back to serving in the old brown cups, they were insulated a bit, kept the coffee warm longer.

I don’t mind change… as long as it is for the better.

Come Spring, the grandchildren can help me put seeds in the ground and we will grow some roots right here on the south side of Youngstown. We might grow some tomatoes, too.

Thanks for reading!

Yesterday’s Coffee

Black strap,
cold and dark,
strong as molasses
with hints of amber.

I lift the carafe
to fluorescent lights.
Good. No clouds
pour into the pan.

18/10 stainless hits the ring
pretend fire on electric range.
I long for gas, and a pass…
forgiveness of my sins.

Boiling down to bitter,
cutting the edge with cream.
Why settle for yesterday’s brew,
while jars hold roasted beans?

Depression swirls in my cup,
settles to grit the bottom,
Why bother with a fresh pot?
Tomorrow is not promised.

I smoke my cigarette.
Inhale, exhale, life’s a drag.
Smoke trails white from red
ash covered tip, as I sip.

Where are the days
edged in mania?
Where are the nights
that break near dawn?

I can deal with racing thoughts,
a kaleidoscope of creative ideas
rushing faster than I can spin,
jotting notes to make art again.

Can I crawl back in my bed?
Take the time to clear my head?
Erase the words that were said,
By those who act like I am dead?

I put on my face with makeup,
shovel it on with a trowel,
then buff it off with paper towels.
Paint on a smile with Maybelline.

Soon I’m dressed and out the door.
My down side of up is a private war,
No one needs to know the score,
It’s time to laugh and smile again.

I would really like to make amends
to the man I loved as my dear friend.
His raw assumptions were not true,
But I do want my cake and eat it, too.

Why should a woman have to choose?
She could have friends and lovers, too.
Yes, I kept my secrets close to home,
I had to sort some things out on my own.

I’m warming this up like yesterday’s brew,
it was never a choice between the two,
I cannot understand, I’m lost and confused,
I miss my friend, but there is nothing I can do.

N.2016