Fear

It can paralyze

It can mobilize

It can take us by surprise.

Cognitive,

Instinctive?

Doesn’t matter.

We can’t let it

overwhelm us.

And we can’t

Ignore it.


November 19, 2022

Dream

Last night I

Had the strangest

Dream.

A young man

Appoached me

at a polling place.

Said he

voted for Trump only

as the others

might be Jews 

I said I was sad to hear 

He felt that way;

That I was Jewish.

We parted without rancor

and a sadness 

I think we shared.

November 15, 2022

Community

Our official leaders have failed so badly;

Embroiled us in an escalating war

And a failing economy.

They would have us choose

One of two self interested 

political parties.


And yet are there are signs of hope,

Rays of sunshine.

Ordinary people stepping forward to help a neighbor,

To give love and support.

“Don’t worry, I can walk your dog 

while you get better.”

“I’ll Ask my grand kids to come and help you winterize  your house.”

“We’re not rich, but if you need help with medical bills, we’re here.”


Can we build a new world under and alongside the old one?

Are we doing it?

We’ll walk together.

No questions asked.

No quid pro quo.

November 10, 2022

The Sick, the Well, the In-between

by my dear friend Caroline Donnola

The Sick, the Well, the In-between

The body parts begin to fail,
each taking its own time
to ache, break, unravel.

The aging heart
slows down/speeds up,
while cancer cells multiply,
indifferent to our history
of a healthy routine.

The shoulder gets weaker,
the bones turn brittle,
the nervous system
plays its games.

Some friends are seriously ill,
while the heartier ones
play nursemaid.
We stroke their hair,
bring them nourishment,
swap old stories,
warm their spirits.
Or do they warm ours?

We don’t say, What about me?
but we wonder it all the same.
We try to put a positive spin
on this last stretch of years.
We plan to travel,
paint, write, or knit.

But we’re not in control.
We don’t know our expiration date.

We think, but don’t say,
I’m dreading the thought
of a drawn-out death.
We think, but don’t say,
I don’t want to be
the last one standing.

We decide, again and again,
to live anyway—
baking cookies
driving to the country
singing in the car
feeling the cool air on our necks.

We do these things
while our loved ones
struggle to heal.
Together—
the sick, the well, and the in-between—
we learn from our challenges
and stay close to each other,
determined to be together
for as long as we can.

Determined, most of all,
to love—
more truly, more deeply
than we have ever loved before.