Dear Beverly

Decades after I last saw you,
I wrote you a letter but didn’t
know where to send it.
I wanted you to know how
much it meant to me that you
included me in your family.
We met in 7th grade, and
soon discovered that we
were born a day apart at
the same local hospital.
Our mothers were
there at the same time.
We always joked that we
were in adjoining bassinets.

As we got to know each other
better, I started spending
nights or weekends at your house.
I never invited you into my home
in all those years that we were friends.
I was embarrassed and ashamed
at my father’s alcoholism and our
less than adequate living conditions.
I didn’t even know the word for what
my father’s troubles were and I didn’t
have the words or courage to tell you
how deeply it affected me.
And you never asked me why,
perhaps both of us too shy.
But being able to spend time
with you and your family,
even joining you on
vacations, was a nice break
and gave me a sense
of normalcy.

As we got older, we went
on dates together with
guys, you mostly with
Bill, who would end up
being your husband one day
and father of your boy.
Our lives took very different
paths after high school however
and we lost touch. You went on
to become an accomplished
nurse and I went the way of
spirituality and communal life.
Some years later we
reconnected back in Orlando.
You and Bill had divorced and
you were about to marry
another. I found out that
your father had passed
away from Alzheimers
many years prior when
he was in his fifties.
It took him young.

We met one other time
when I learned your
mother had passed,
but we drifted apart
again…never really
regaining the friendship
we had forged before.
And then came the day
I sat in stunned silence
as I read your obituary.
I never found out what had
happened…how your life
had ended. I hadn’t
used the opportunity
to let you know how
much you meant to me.
But I like to think that
love doesn’t have boundaries
and you know how much I cared.
Love, Gayle

I too tweaked the prompt today but this really impacted my life and I wanted to share it. I truly believe that all my loved ones know that I love them.

Our newest team member, Kelly, asks us to write love letters to someone before it’s too late or let someone know that we care for them over at dVerse Poets:

Golden Rain: A Tree of Memories

Moonlight filtered through the gauzy curtains.
I knew the Golden Rain tree was just outside.
Memories washed over me,
climbing its branches, looking down from above.
I knew the Golden Rain tree was just outside.
How I love that tree, though now grown old,
bent with age, losing limbs.
Memories washed over me.
Remembering the cookouts, the laughter,
hearing its leaves rustle with an autumn breeze.
Climbing its branches, looking down from above,
I see Dad’s chair, vacant now,
some day the tree and I will join him.

Please join us as Mary instructs us on the Trimeric form today for dVerse Poets, Minding the Bar.

Six Scrappy Kids

six scrappy kids
at odds with
their world
and each other

fighting, bickering
teasing, taunting
abusing, chasing,
running from,
running after,
screams and
jeers, tears
and fear

hair pulling,
scaring and

crammed into
small spaces
no elbow room
nowhere to turn
or take a breather

from each other

no place to think,
the world and
our place in it

a war zone,
no peace
except when

but magically
a miracle
was rendered

we grew up
we searched
we found
that we liked
each other

we spoke
and listened
and knitted
our hearts
close together

we are our
our dharma
our refuge
our peace

Over at dVerse Poets, Mary asks us to reflect on peace:

Bygone Era

The Brownie camera
lays there in the
bottom drawer of the
secretary, not used
for half a century
now, abandoned for
the newer technology
that has made photo
taking effortless and

But the many
treasured photos–
of us all at the beach,
lined up neatly in the
front yard, spotted with
measles, playing with our
neighborhood pals
and at birthdays
and special events…
all those long ago,
dearly-departed days,
were taken by that
beloved Brownie.
It, as well as the
bygone era it
served to capture,
is so lovingly valued
and memorably cherished.

Neighborhood Friends



The cat without a name

Image via Wikipedia

I have a reoccurring nightmare where I am frantically trying to lock the kitchen door at the house where I grew up, while an unknown, sinister presence is fast approaching.  I fumble with the latch, opening and closing the door, and I am beside myself that I just can’t get it to lock!  My heart is pounding with fear as I realize the presence is drawing closer and closer through the outside darkness.  This dream has been haunting me for decades.  This is how it began:

It was the summer of my seventeenth year when it started–we were being “peeped”!  We were a household of four, cute sisters, as well as an attractive mother which, I’m sure, added to the appeal of being targeted.

One of my sisters had a couple of friends visiting one evening and they were all in the bedroom yakking and giggling when my sister spied a man’s face peering in at them through the open window.  Screams ensued, the man ran off and we tried to forget it.

But some weeks later, while I was reading in my parents’ bedroom one night (they were not home); I heard footsteps slowly approaching the window.  A brother and his friend were out in the living room, so I went to them and whispered urgently that someone was prowling around outside!  They stealthily crept out the front door and around the side of the house and surprised a guy that they then chased across the neighbor’s backyard and tackled to the ground.  He was dressed only in bra and panties!  After my brother threatened him with “stay away from our house or else”, he sent him packing and he never showed up again.

But it was the next incident that scared us the worst.  After falling asleep one night on our enclosed porch with one of our Siamese cats snuggled in next to me, I was awakened abruptly to find my cat leaning over my head, peering intently through the darkened window, growling quietly under his breath.  I froze with fear when I heard the now-too-familiar sound of foot falls, and then, with my heart pounding in my ears, heard the door knob being jiggled back and forth inches from my head!  Someone was trying to get in!  (Thank God the door was locked.  It was rare that our doors were ever locked in those days).  After a few suspenseful minutes where I couldn’t bring myself to move, the bathroom light suddenly came on.  I leapt out of bed and ran to the bathroom where my mother had gotten up to go–and breathlessly told her what had happened.  That same moment, one of my sisters came home and I anxiously recounted what had just occurred.  It was there, where we were gathered talking, that we noticed the outline of large, dirty shoe prints on the living room carpet!  We tracked them through the dining room and on into the kitchen to find the kitchen door wide open to the outside!  He had actually come into the house within feet of where I had just been laying!

This episode began a series of events that started with someone providing my brother with a shotgun for our protection!  Our father was mostly an absentee one so my brother took matters into his own hands.

One evening he decided to lie in wait in the dark shadows of the backyard and see if our intruder would show up.  His ammunition was rock salt so it really wouldn’t do much bodily harm if he did manage to hit him.  Well, lo and behold, after a short wait, here came our guy!  My brother took careful aim from his hiding place in the shrubs and fired–hitting the backdoor!  The guy took flight with my brother in hot pursuit.  They ran down the street and around the corner where my brother again took aim and this time hit his target square in the buttocks!  At this point, our intruder really became frantic and sought sanctuary with one of our close neighbors, screaming that there was a madman after him trying to kill him!  When my brother caught up to them and set the story straight, the neighbor and he detained the guy until the police arrived.  This man turned out to be a different prowler than the previous underwear clad “peeper”.  I don’t remember if he was ever identified as the one who had earlier entered our home.

We had no further incidents after that and no charges were filed against my brother.

But the nightmare remains for me.

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