If I Were To Write One Last Poem

My morbid thoughts as I face surgery next week.


If I were to write one last poem before I die,
what theme would thread the needle’s eye?
Oh, that needle carved from bone, year by year—
the head bone that opened my mother’s womb,
the marrow muddied by deaths and heartbreak,
and the needle’s eye forged by purpose.

The bone—the strength of a needle—fabricated a life.
Look for the signature stitched on the hem of a full life!  Look closer!
How foolish to write a memoir; I know the plot twists.
Few would care about honey dripping down wallpaper long ago,
the first time I was caught in the Atlantic’s undertow,
horrid and heavenly marriages, my footsteps on other continents,
sailing ancient seas, caregiving, clubs, schools,
riding motorbikes, failed perfection at keyboards,
climbing the mulberry tree, my hammer marks on a DIY deck,
and feeding chipmunks by the lake.

Perhaps my story has been written in ink and paint.
Why stress over abuses still living in my nightmares?
Why boast of obscure achievements
(wins time has erased in other’s minds)?
What fun it would be to leave shocking secrets of lovers

never shared with the judgmental—such good stories!
I could pen letters to those I have loved all their lives;
my profound conclusion: the reward for loving the entitled
has never been predicated on reciprocation.  My joy.  Their loss.
To be honest, I do not care much about anyone’s opinion of me.
I have known great passion and lived with integrity.
My life.  My way.
My mistakes were not malicious, just lessons learned at great cost.
I am the freedom of flesh and the strength of bone.  I am the needle.
My ramblings settle on this theme for my poem—my life:
celebrate humanity (flesh) threaded through boney, messy wisdom.

When young, I believed wisdom was shiny like Olympic gold.
Wisdom rises from the muck calloused and dirty
like a warrior returning from the front lines—
bone stitching gratitude to memories of love, beauty and hope.
The reward of wisdom follows the sacrifice of innocence.  Always.
Embrace the needle.  Be creative.  Live without regret.


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