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P E Kaplan Apr 2014
First I spied the neck, sagging innocently enough,
one might even say blissfully, reflected in the glass laptop.
The phrase "whodunit" came out of nowhere,
and a low, silky, voice whispered,
"Aw, don't stop before the good part."

The villain left a few clues; the wispy hair strands;
some scattered age spots, skin tags, a few moles,
listless, crinkly, skin pale, lightly pimpled,
and a weird, wrinkly crevasse teased,
"Aw, don't stop before the good part."

Totally hooked, curiosity piqued; southward I spotted
where a once perky treasure "chest" was hidden,
two solemn, half-empty grain sacks, laying sideways,
basically lifeless they lazily muttered,
"Aw, don't stop before the good part."

The final chapter, the mystery solved,
no crime, no villain, nothing stolen, just flesh alchemy.
Where once a taut, flat, plateau of supple skin, resided
now a lumpy, bumpy, flabby belly, murmured sweetly,
"Boston Creme Pie and a cup of tea would hit the spot."
P E Kaplan Apr 2014
At the age of nine, my brother Denny whispered to me ,
“Ya know, Frankenstein lives in the attic.”
“He’s right behind the small door in your bedroom closet.”
"Nah-ah," I told him and besides, "The door is locked."
“Think Frankenstein cares about locked doors?" he smirked.

Throughout our childhood, my brother leaped out from
behind doors and around corners,
and somehow in scaring me, his fear diminished.  
I wondered at times if he loved me, then I thought,
'If he didn't loved me, he wouldn't try to scare me to death.'

On it went, until, without warning, our beloved mother was dead.
Tightened into ourselves, alcohol soothed our grief.
With our mother's life over, our anger for our father grew, a deeply troubled and volatile war veteran, violently abusive of us all,
my brother and I knew our lives were over in some unspoken way.

Over the years, we developed an awkward, surface connection,
with less contact, it was just easier.  Many years later, when our father died, we buried him.  Still the distance between us grew, so many things left unsaid. Forty years of separate lives, both of us alcoholic, we learned to hide resentment and grief deep inside.

On an August day, ten years after our father's death, my brother surrendered his last breath.  His liver worn out, unable to cleanse his blood. His suffering  and his anger ended.  With my brother gone, alone, I finally understood the meaning of family, and the absolute knowing we all did the best we could

From a Circle of One, I loved them with all my heart.
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P E Kaplan Feb 2014
They will meet again,
the sensitive, weary, nervous,
daughter and her mother the same.

They will meet again,
to talk, to listen, to sidestep the usual
misperception, misinterpretation, miscommunication.

They will meet again,
and acknowledge their identical desire to be understood
forgiven, accepted without judgement.

They will meet again,
their tender, hearts, needing a gentle reminder;
knowing they must never, ever, give up on Love.
P E Kaplan Jan 2014
No solution, just a complex formula,
of unequal parts, an unending, unspoken dialogue, of
what they said, she said, he said, I said, then around again,
over, and over, and over, and over,
like a worn-down needle, stuck in a worn-out groove.

It was like this in our family, we kept things in, like forgiveness, compassion, trust, we placed them on a dusty shelf;
our hurts, our disappointments, our pain, especially our pain,
never to be discussed, understood, or pardoned,
these feelings on the shelf more aware of desired healing than we.

Then suddenly it would be over, the sacred relief, the last breath
weary from misunderstanding and stubborn righteousness,
no gentleness, no love of self, no comfortable arms to rest in,
just a deep, painful sadness, a silent shiver, a giving up and then in,
and still the shelf remained, heavy, cluttered, ready for next generation.
P E Kaplan Oct 2012
To do it better,
To get it together,
Too little energy,
To pull it off.
P E Kaplan Oct 2012
Fear whispers, nothing really matters,
An incessant drone just barely audible,
Like a cat licking, licking,
Irritating, yet calming in some weird way.

Inside a humming round the clock,
What matters is not yours, never will be,
A puzzle piece kicked,
Under the stove, gone from the light of day.

And faith like a bridge rotted, ready to give,
With the next footfall,
Waits for proof from a God,
Who is busy and sickened,
With more important things than
Your doubt about His existence, and His total Love for you.
P E Kaplan Sep 2012
Sounds hard,
and difficult
for you.

Can you set limits,
boundaries,
with your family?

Unsure,
it would be
right to do so.

Same here.
I wonder, does this
help you?

And for you,
my sadness stays,
until you feel heard.
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