Friday, October 31, 2008

i cry in my dreams
over painting
and themes
of brand-newness
and gifts unexpected
in times unconnected
and changes suspected
it seems I've neglected
my dreams

Monday, October 20, 2008


The smell of strong, percolated coffee filled the air, mingled with the odor of stale cigarette smoke. The constant whining of the electric clock combined with the startling gong from the clock upstairs, seemingly random and meant to frighten.

As if born from the unsettling atmosphere, she sat in the wicker chair in her house dress, the smoke from her cigarette curling menacingly up above our heads. There was a constant battle inside me, when I was with her, to keep any sense of self-esteem going. I was annoyance embodied, in her house with the French Toile wallpaper I was not allowed to touch.

The only conversation I remember having with her, that didn’t invoke a sinking feeling of guilt in the pit of my stomach, was when we talked, once, about people we knew with body parts for last names. I still remember my example: the family named “Head”, whose father had abandoned them after his tour in Vietnam. I don’t remember her example anymore. “Toe”, or perhaps, “Finger”? I don’t know.

She died too soon, not in youth, but in hatred; too soon for the brain cells of nastiness to be burned away by dementia, too soon to be frail and surrounded by a concerned family.

She died in the prime of sarcastic jibes at the inadequacy of her children’s children.
I am tired.
How did I get here?
You didn't tell me
how it would be.
You didn't ask me.
There was no preparing.
There was no permission.
You just put me
in this situation
with vague promises
of someone being there.
They were no help.
They would not explain.
I could see them
shaking their heads.
I told them
I was usually
more in control.
I apologized.
But still, I was ignored.
They were watching
the affect of what
they fed me.
How would I react?
What would I do?
At any rate, I would
have to pay.
If I chose.
One hundred dollars
for a dirty pillow.
Even though it was
my pillow
I would leave it.
Unpaid for.
It isn't worth it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Poem for Holiday Depression

this is the season
that is the somber sameness
of numberless generations
following one after the other
into the vast dark emptiness
of countless dreams unfulfilled

the darkness envelops
the cold settles deep
and my bones crack with the change
wanting to bury themselves
like food fallen
from the trees
and picked up by squirrels
until they have
taken root

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meeting Old Ghosts

I slowly descend the old stairs,
dirty and in need of a fresh coat of paint
to the basement of the building.

The same stairs
that I descended
forty years ago with my mother,
we inch down now,
for self protection.

I see the same frown
of disapproval on the
face of a different
doctor of dentistry,
the distrust hanging in the air between us
as it did on the face of the other,
now ghostly doctor
who seems to still inhabit the same room.

Finally finished,
we worm our way out of the cramped office,
relieved to have
to return another day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

teary and tired
energy expired
banks are on fire
news is all dire
people aren't hired
feelings are mired
but I trudge on

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

old friends are the best friends
the ones who knew you before--
before your life
became a spent balloon
and they stopped
and picked it up

Sunday, October 5, 2008

As I navigate the treacherous snow-covered roads
the stuff of everyday life is thrown at my feet.
I trudge on, avoiding
the people on the periphery of my past
in whose world I travel,
the one attempt at communication
pulling me awake
when reality invades.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I enter the place of prayer
each strengthening bead
infusing within me
calm resolve
to face
another day

if darkness is your light

stumbling in the inky blackness
there is nothing to touch
nothing to orient
in the endless, blind-black space

a dream like state
where nothing

is familiar


is there



Poems © Gemma W. Wilson