What has their "love" and public references to "God"schtuff taught me? Well, there is the reminder that stress is terrible for CRPS, and derails my neverending efforts to control soma with psyche. It might be better put to say this instead of alluding to "control": Nothing can squelch my ardent desire for soma and psyche to so ardently entwine as to fog the view from these formerly sparkling big baby browns.
Actually, the glaucoma meds have these neat side effects! No, not the itchy, redness and blurry vision, you jokers! The double ring of beautiful greens that now surround my previously ordinary iris of backroad mud.
If you've never indulged, indulge -- take a look at your iris in a hand mirror. It's a thing of beauty, no matter if brown, blue, or some exotic blend. There are feathers in there, and light. Infinity. The iris of a living eye puts the most masterful kaleidoscope to shame.
This will sound morbid, and for the longest time the memories were used in morbid fashion against me by that previously mentioned actor, psyche, but if you ever are with a being as life leaves his body, keep talking, and keep watching the eyes. They are always beautiful and they always fade, sucked inward, subsumed, gone, at the moment of true death. Keep looking as long as the situation allows, for the iris remains beautiful, and a marker, worth remembering.
In any event, maybe I just wanted the distraction of Trolls -- they're easy; they're stupid; they feed that misguided sense of "mission." Anything to avoid thinking about whom and what matters.
I don't think I've published this poetic effort before. Don't much care because it brought me joy and back into contact with, as just stated, that which matters.
It was written "for" an unimportant poetry contest about three years ago. There was a time when my brother Bob ("shrink, tunors, shrink!"), my stepsister, and I were, all three, of "babysitter" age. Our dad was in Vietnam and, sad to say, that was the happiest year of our lives. The street we lived on -- off base, in civilian freedom for the first time ever -- was full of fun, young families. A big need for babysitters!
My sister and I earned a fair amount of spending money as run-of-the-mill, adequate sitters, but you know who everyone really wanted? Bob! Six foot four, a pony tail, and a kid magnet. The softball games he organized after dinner were the stuff of legends. A fielding position for everyone in the neighborhood, a turn at bat that always produced a play, if not a run. Sudden new rules!
He would pick up toddlers, carry them over his head and run them around the "bases" -- a telephone pole, the fender on The Rabbi's station wagon, the Smith's holly bush, and all the way to someone's front door home. He cooked, he cleaned, wore everyone out (clientele or not), and even groomed pets. I used to stay awake, waiting for him to come home and turn his evening into a bedtime story. I remember falling asleep to the soft cadence of "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
Five Dollars an Hour
My brother Bob was the most popular sitter,
the Vicar of Fitzgerald Street,
as baseball runners coasted home, zig-
zag tagged lamp posts, car bumper bases,
magic places, all, triumphant!
Hitters held their crouch,
proud of his boast of "way to watch
the ball, there, buckaroo!," suburban
cowboys and girls, night's gloam
softened even in Baghdad, believing
beloved and loving because of his six
foot four, pony-tailed dominion
over locusts and Pentecost.
The birds, most house sparrows, moved
stumbling, criss-cross clawed and closer
to his soft "hey, batter,
hey, batter" banter poise of noise,
to roost and erase the day's
gateposts, attacks, door
posts, counterattacks, lacy graces,
and atlases with their gridded ghosts.
Because Bob was big and strong, scooping
gurgle-bubble babies, carried directly
from danger straight into fun [aloft! the roosting
birds approved with rustles!], to dunk them
in bathtubs and sinks, have them dreaming,
scrub-dub, of outrageous happy endings
to farflung bedtime stories
begun before tater tots,
strumming guitars through broccoli
-- "the giant's shrub" -- and after asking,
"Are the pets all fed?" -- it was off
to bed, exhausted, safe, fear quashed,
memories of catching, hitting, chasing
balls, and phrases of soft praise.
Monsters and thieves ran fast away
when Brother Bob flew front doors open:
Dismayed and afraid -- though a few came to stay,
reformed by joshing scoffing and the fun
of washing cookie sheets and tossing
foil wrap in the trash, "Three pointers!"
But then they'd loiter, unsure, until by his pied
piping, terror's buffer, they slipped, too,
far from suffering, ushered, sliding into dreams'
home plate, like cloud cover, while he surveyed
the kitchen, stowed the butter,
and swept the floor. Big-handed
tender, he was the favorite, too,
for brand new babies, newer-than-new
preemies, who soaked the august promise
of sun, chrome fenders, and one-
day line drives from his slender fingers.
I would wait at home to hear the tales
of naughty boys and bawdy daughters,
dogs that nipped and cats that scratched,
or -- giving up all that -- I would
wait at home for my turn, my viewing,
my comfort at his comfort, my turn
at his standing tall, the flash of
his "I know you" smile,
his "What are you doing up, kid?"
My beloved own once-in-a-while,
never bitter sitter...
© 2013 L. Ryan