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Friday, 18 February 2011


By A. Peri

sometimes you have to find peace.
you have to be the good wife
by gluing a synthetic smile on your face
and keep pushing the wretched wheelchair.

nevermind the trip to Italy
where you dream of resting
against the multiple trunks
of an olive tree, eating asiago cheese
and uncorking a bottle of Chianti.

nevermind the sandy beaches
of Hawaii, where the sun would seep
into your scantily-clad, lotion-marinated body
turning your pale, white skin into
an envious shade of bronze.

nevermind the tranquil log cabin
tucked away under the redwoods
where you could write in solitude.

you just continue to be the good wife
you shower him, dress him
shampoo, comb, shave, brush,
fluff, lift, spray, wipe
cut his food into tiny pieces,
have him swallow his medications
wishing it would all end soon
but not wanting him to die.

you don’t agonize about it,
you forget it,
it doesn’t matter,
you smile again and don’t bellyache.

you just...nevermind.

sometimes you have to be the good daughter,
walk through thick, damp grass until
you come to the gunmetal-gray tombstone,
sink to your knees and try, once again,
to forgive.

sometimes you have to catch sight
of an old, still-bearded hippie,
on the streets of San Francisco,
raise his right hand,
separate his first two fingers,
grin, and mouth the words “peace.”

sometimes you have to sit cross-legged
in your hatha yoga class,
eyes closed, palms up
grandly inhaling and exhaling
while trying to quiet the monkeys rollicking
in your head and not think
about all that worries you.

sometimes you have to feel something
cosmic inside of you shift and at long last
you become:

someone who stops looking
at the not-so-attractive fragments
of yourself in the reflections
of a shattered mirror.

someone who stops walking around
in circles pretending to be
enjoying the view.

someone who stops dancing backwards.

someone who realizes
that your god is quite possibly deaf,
and stops waiting for answers
because deep down you know
there aren’t any.

sometimes you have to find bliss
by telling hot apple cider stories
in an oven-warmed kitchen
while licking left-over clumps
of chocolate chip cookie dough
from your fingers.

sometimes you have to
watch your grandmother snap
a thousand string beans
and let them fall into the bowl
of her gingham apron.

sometimes you need to be lazy
and stretch out in the shade of an
old, red, bougainvillea
like a sleepy-eyed cat.

sometimes you have to
play double-dutch with the little girls
down the street and try to jump
through whirling ropes while,
just one more time, you recapture
the gaiety of your childhood.

sometimes you have to
learn that your first love,
the tallest, most romantic,
cutest boy in the whole world,
the one who broke your heart six times
with four different girls,
the one who haunted your dreams,
is now a fat, cigar-munching,
wife-beater tshirt-wearing man
with a bad comb-over held in place
with a bobby pin.

sometimes you have to tickle
people-loving, hairy things
that have soft paws
and long, wet tongues.

sometimes you have to ride in the front seat
of a red convertible and belt out a country-western
song as lustily as you can while the wind
slaps your hair across your face.

sometimes you have to engage in secret
and incredibly delicious things
with someone who won’t tell a soul.

sometimes you have to
split open laughing at something
no one else seems to think
is all that funny.
the more confused they look,
the louder you roar
and when you’re done,
you wipe away tears
that you could never explain.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Wow! Amazingly powerful poetry!
I'm reeling from the blunt honesty of the feelings wrapped in exquisite language.

I read this piece three times and each time I discovered a new phrase or word that either made me smile or want to cry.

Your poem has touched me deeply and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts and dreams with us.

Thank you. This is beautiful.

I jut plugged in boy stuff, and it worked as well. Wonderful piece of writing.

Haunting. This will stay with me a while. Thank you.

It was just like taking a sentimental journey through life.


amen - this is wonderful.

I can't find the words to express the deep feelings this beautiful poem evoked. It's powerful. Thank you.

Many thanks to all of you for your generous outpouring of support. I still feel kind of shaky about writing so your kind words mean a lot to me.

Others have already said this so I will repeat: haunting and powerful, very powerful. Courageous writing and heartbreaking too. Thank you.

Yes, I agree with the above comment already posted--"haunting and powerful". I love it more every time I read it. No need for you to feel shaky about your writing. I'm grinning like a cat over your writing. You should too.

I loved this, it touched a lot of feelings and my heart. I will read this over and over, and remember things that were long forgotten

Life has so many memories that we are able to tap, both the joyous and the sad.

Have you ever dipped deeply into the well of memories and relived the past?

Joe D.

Would this be the same A Peri that used to hang out with a bunch of people named Gullible, Sandra Dee, Orlando, Shaddy, etc.?

PS: You have nothing to feel shaky about, A. You're on solid ground with your writing.

Like many friends above, I am completely overwhelmed with your writing..chuckling, laughing out loud, fighting back tears and sighing..you sure nailed life for all of us..WOW..I had a 70th birthday on 2/l8 so I feel like karma payment was made for my future with your words...Bless you and tell me/us more...thanks..Mary xo

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