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I don't want you to find me
in these later years.  I can't
cry anymore when I think
of you.

We were young in the music
of our age.  We danced (so
closely) to "Me and Mrs Jones"
The top room of the familiar
bar where we were all alone
except for one couple playing

I'm broken finally. The white
hair, the pounds padding me
like Bart on the field.
I'm broken in my heart, the
one place you only have touched.

I am broken in the days and
nights.  The flesh colored
clouds slide over us
as it did so long ago.  
I can't sing even
to the  songs we loved
as each one of us moved in the
roiling grass.  Shattered, I
am veined with the silver of old mirrors.

Stopping by the road in the
summer rain I sigh the
loss of many things.  Things
chipped now and cracked.
My face falls, like shards of
failed glass.  I
cry out for you.

Words are frail bones.
I fail to reach them although
they stain my  
breaking heart.

As my husband slips in
the mire of Parkinson's,
he will not know me
very soon.

I write about you with
capricious longing. The
touch you gave  of
seeing me home.
The Marijuana was not
that strong.  

Don't cry for me
Alabama. I am
here where you
left me.

Caroline Shank
September 15, 2021

This is a new poem I am trying
to know.  A broken memory
that slides up and down
the heart of me.
The arithmetic of murky waters
Is not so clear

Neither are my chances of survival

Here is me
Face down in urgent sea

My wave
My grave
My gateway, perhaps

Whatever the consequence
Suffering is the new salvation

It all adds up
Sum how?
Sum way?

And if I was your ship
Destined to flounder
In the wide open drink

You'd re-enter the equation
And find a way to pull me through

Just so we could once more
Make the hurting count


Fear falls.  I cry
and the mealy ground catches the
sound. I am old.  This is
a young person's dilemma.

The koan that
no one believes is
you and the clapping of my
voice are one in the
desert.  The old cat yawns.
She has heard this sorry
song before.
I mouth your name.

The wind has stopped.  The
cat licks her paws before
she kneads me.  I am alone
with this indifferent creature.  My
arms are around myself where
only the old cat sleeps.

Caroline Shank
That was a different dream, not the one last night where you couldn't
get the door unlocked.  The other
dream was when we walked east
on Capitol Dr. toward the water.

We explored the caves,
the hidden grottos of Lake
Michigan.  We walked so far with
torn experience and
unforgiven memories.  The sky
dimmed in the late afternoon.
We tried to reach each other
in the fading red moments before

Last night you couldn't get to me.
The locks were made up of the
Crucifixion and a nun kneeled
before me.  You were frocked
out in gray and threw kisses.

We woke in the same bed where
you vanished quietly to your
whispers of regret.
I remain unseen and unloved.
A torrent of feeling sprang from my
soft and sorry, lonely gray bed.

Caroline Shank
Will you be my Valentine?  Next
year of course.  When the red and
white polka dots star out the
night and I am confounded
with your beauty.  

Why haven't I written, you ask?
I have dumped my life's colors
onto pages
and into notebooks for you.
I am a woman of many words.
I describe events in the shells and fossils along the beach we walked when we loved each other.

I am engraved by the events
of your stone hard meanings.
I wrap your adjectives in the
filo dough which lines me and
through which my delicate
remembrances filter.

You are the spoon with which I am measured.  Myself into your coffee and cream, you into my death defying
dare to life.

Caroline Shank
When civilizations die there is always
fire falling into the hearts of the
population.   Love is lost and minds
are numbed to the cries of politicians.
The ground shakes and generatïons
fall.  The loud music plays.  The dancing
never stops.

Poets are unheard amidst the bad
grammar and mushrooms of those
who have forgotten or lost the keys
to the kingdom.

The brightest lights are dimmed under the
laughter of ignorance.  It happens
in public places and private living
rooms.  Tomorrow the plates will
shake and coffee will spill in South
America and Norway.  Ubiquitous
on air personalities encourage
the madness.  

The drug of choice is television..
We watch the mardi gras
and swallow gin like
coffee to hail
the sounds of silence.

No one will hear the siren
of danger, or the whisper of
loss.  We fade
with a


Caroline Shank
"Morning has broken". Every **** day.
Branson is about to fly into the sky. Fauci
tries to get politics out of healthcare.

But you, you are young and strong,
fine and holy in my eyes.  I am due
to leave soon. You are forever 22.

I saw a picture of you recently. It felt
like withdrawal.  Don't look for me  
I am unrecognizable
In my old age.

I am my name spelled backwards.  
My broken mornings travel and
I am uncircled.  I have chosen not
to be and at some
point won't.

If you must come to me, come in the break of morning when the cat is
kneading me and I long for you.

Caroline Shank
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