Nineteenth of April
walking in the current of my thoughts
rain soaking through my coat
shivering in mid-fifties degrees...here
people dress for summer at the first increase
in the temperature.
I'm soaked to the bone,
clothes clinging like the floating skin of a filleted fish.
giant earth worms floating in the expanding curbside puddles.
I'm on my way to the post office...
thinking of my brother,
thinking about my ailing boyfriend,
thinking about the limbo of figuring life out.
The worms are undulating in the current.
The current is lapping at the curb.
I say to the young woman in her polka-dotted raincoat
"Look at the giant earthworms in the puddles!"
She reacts, laughs nervously.
Some people are this way when strangers address them...
unwilling or not quite ready to interact.
I continue on down the hill,
down the steep street...
still amazed at the immensity of something so small.
Go to the post office.
Mail the care package to my brother.
Pickup hot soup at the designer grocery store,
then hike up two blocks to the store where I barely afford my groceries.
I go through the aisles,
remembering prices of years before.
I'm a creature of habit...buying the same goods over and over again,
eating what's tried and familiar.
Onto the bus again.
Talk to the young man who's grocery sack has disintegrated in the rain.
I wish him luck as another passenger offers him a plastic bag.
Off at my stop I climb the hills with my heavy load
the weight of it perceptible, pulling on an aching right shoulder.
Stop mid-hill and find bits of worm littering the grass.
It is not true.
An earthworm does not have that many hearts
that when bitten he can live on after wards.
He's been chomped into too many pieces.
"It" looks like a torn raw aorta...
I look in the grass for a life-size beating heart.
Suddenly I feel chillier.
The spring has left my step.
Some hungry bird
didn't place his bites carefully,
ate a little greedily.
I think about my boyfriend trying to feel better.
I think about my brother and wish his care package was there yesterday.
Can't fix the world and
can't fix the weather.
Still I wonder, Anne-like,
wonder if another worm will grow from what's been left behind.
Copyright April 19 2012 All Rights Reserved By The Author
Melissa A Howells Meloo tilt-a-world
For Anne who believed in the good in people in spite of everything.
For Ann who watched the ants every morning and was always late to school and for
her daughter who had her name as her middle name, who not knowing of her own Mother's
former 'misdeeds', grew up and soon did the very same. All the while...
attaining the highest possible number of tardies that a kindergartner could ever attain
simply by lingering by the curb to count the ants. But that is a whole new poem in
and of itself...
*I've thought about this, and this poem IS for you Mother (Ann), for you taught
me to obsessively notice and to think in details and I would not think nor would I
be the person who I am, were it not for you.