I collect things
Little things
They catch my eye
Something special
A piece of driftwood
Pulled from a cloudy swollen creek
I wonder where it had been before.
Shells, shark teeth, sea glass
And a shiny fishing hook
Found in Venice beach
A beautiful sunny day
A momento
A reminder
Of a perfect moment
A piece of sun
On a now cold day.
A silver cup
Antique find in a Carolina store
The lion so strong
Now filled with eucalyptus
A scent which brings comfort.
A shiny compact
Aquarius design
Holding a mirror and drying remains
Of a powder never used.
I see no use for much makeup
I wear no mask
I am myself,
This gift from a bonding moment
During chemo,
Given to be prettier
A makeup bag all given away
Because at the worst of time
I still had to be just me.
No wig, rarely a scarf
Just plain old me
And that made me happy.
But this silver box,
I had to hold it
Not given away
Something that is a reminder
Of that day
As I sat with Mom
Learning to apply makeup
To a red puffy swollen face
You see my mom,
Her zodiac sign is Aquarius
And this is my treasure
My reminder of a pure moment
Of mother daughter love
Through a hard time.
My gift
Kept close to the heart.


I see it in there
So tiny
Inconspicuous closer closer
I am terrified
I don’t think the cancer will kill me
I know this will
My teacher in middle school
Told us you can kill someone
Inject air in the vein directly
Heart attack
It is moving
The nurse talks to my mother
Stupid talk
Wait wait
You are going to kill me
Excuse me is this okay?
Hey lady, see that bubble
Won’t that kill me?
She laughs a soft gentle laugh and
Taps the line
But where?
My fear
The one thing we cannot live without will be my
Floating in the red poison
Searching me out
Taking me the easy way
As the fighter refuses
To quit
So soon.

Forgetting to remember

I see you on the quiet street-
I know that face, familiar features
I do not know your name
I can’t recall and I am sorry.
You look at me, eyes crinkling in a smile
Animated and happy
I approach and apologize ,
The chemo has stolen so much
Things I keep forgetting to remember,
Birthdays, names mostly, memories.
I am a disciple to repetitive living
To not forget to remember the tiny details,
Your name
How do I know you,
Where have we met.
Childhood and nightmares have not left
My tattered Swiss cheese like conscious,
Pocketed with empty space that once held something,
I don’t recall what.
My husband says if I forget a name they must not have
Left an imprint on me,
To let it go
To not worry
But I am still sorry
I just don’t remember why.