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Vernon Waring Feb 2017
late morning
we're asleep
the phone rings

i hand it to her
she tells me
it's the drugstore
her prescription's ready

later i'll remember
her voice sounding
a little weary
but there's
no pain there
no urgency
yet there's something
not right
about her voice
something disembodied
like a lost voice

a little later
when i wake up again
she's facing me
her eyes are shut
then three rapid exhalations -
three in a row -
escape from her mouth

then there's silence

i call her name
there's no response

i scream her name
nothing happens

i touch her arm
she's warm
but her eyes remain closed
her hands are still

i phone my daughter
she says call 9-1-1
9-1-1 tells me what to do
i do what they say
then rescue people show up
and take over
then they rush her
to the hospital

my daughter drives me there
we go inside
but we don't want to

we don't want to hear
what we already know
Vernon Waring Feb 2017
towels mingle toss tease
in an unforgiving rush of water
merrily tumbling through waves
rich with detergent

meanwhile dark fabrics twist
in an angry climactic surf
while lighter colors undulate elsewhere
in a wet frivolous frenzy

dainty lingerie -
in yet another machine -
gently sails in a delicate ballet...
whites, pinks, muted yellows and blues
intermingle playfully as they wait
for the cool rinse cycle to commence
and perform its own unique magic

finally the dryers prevail
and the folded garments rest on a table -
the warm spent players basking
in a glorious afterglow
Vernon Waring Jan 2017
She was a shy, detached woman
shortchanged at birth

In all her life
she never opened her arms to anyone
never returned affection
her heart an icy chamber
stoic, closed

Half the time she was penned up in isolation
trapped in an asylum
a life cruelly altered by thorazine
and shock treatments
her soundtrack a choir of madwomen
their voices running riot
in her only home -
a snake pit

She was trapped in a Bronte novel
her mournful eyes fixed
on some distant invisible point

She remained disconnected
a doomed woman
a doomed time
Vernon Waring Jan 2017
with its scent of burning leaves -
a month lacking light
casting shadows
everything dark and ashen

always moving
edging into desolation
always moody
a strange month
with its clouds
hovering close to the ground
filmy unwelcoming clouds rising slowly
all day
enveloping everything
by nightfall
Vernon Waring Jan 2017
Voices are telling me not to jump
They're loud, demanding
Crying out, beseeching me
"STOP!" they yell.  "STOP!"

A small voice inside me whispers "jump"

I'm afraid but I step forward
Swaying in the rough wind
The urgent sound of an alarm clock
Shrieks next to me -
The sound rushing through my room
Like a runaway train

My dog leaps up barking, licks my face
I sit up soaked in sweat
Disheveled, confused, shaking

A witness once again
To my own resurrection
Vernon Waring Dec 2016
She's a wonderful friend
And a lovely lady
And I still can't believe
She just turned eighty!
Vernon Waring Dec 2016
Remember me
When your courage stalls
When winds howl
And darkness falls

Remember me
When your light dims
And no one's there
Through thick or thin

Remember me
When clouds appear
And life seems hopeless
Filled with fear

I'm the voice inside you
That whispers "Move on"
The soul that guides you
To follow your song

I'm the dream you dream
Filled with hope and pride
The feelings you feel
When you're bursting inside

The trumpet of triumph
That blares you to dare
To meet a challenge
And be prepared

The steps you take
To take a stand
To do what's right
To forge a plan

So when you feel low
Be still and you'll see
I'm right there within you
Remember me
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