Right now I am writing a poem a day with Molly Fisk. I have been published in Agenda, Mipoesias and Poets and Writers among other magazines.
It Starts With Light
It starts with light
as I come up the trail
so I can still see what we suffered,
you in your rickety wheelchair,
me getting kidney disease.
And don't all worlds start with light?
The world of the kitchen
under the fluorescent light bulbs,
someone standing, making
the world of the dog
her breakfast, her morning run,
the windows glassed with light
where she can see animals approach.
Your mornings with the inhaler,
and mine, then breathing.
And it must end in darkness,
with the stars like posed
questions marks, too brilliant
not to be seen—an abundance of them.
How you hustled when we were
in my car, getting the donut
put on by two strange workers,
stationed at a house nearby,
so you could take care of
the kittens someone left on your doorstep.
I remember the church
you brought me to, which you said
was Greek Orthodox with Byzantine
architecture, which I didn't dare
enter, so we sat outside sunning
ourselves, and talking to friendly strangers.
I was unwary and believed
your story that your accent came
from a would-be New York actor
you lived with, who taught you elocution
and that you had grown up in the south.
You were the best fiction writer
of all of us, and would have
had success if your emphysema
hadn't gotten so bad. You traveled
to class on a scooter with an oxygen
tank in the back. You laughed with me.
I lost touch with you and didn't know
what happened. Sometimes I look
at the angel doll you gave me
and think somewhere you say your
prayers for me, and I can hear them,
like water from a distance. We
cannot find the source but know
we are drawing near the falls--
the closeness of it,
in the midst of the sound-filled world.
©2014 Linda Benninghoff