In Reality

For the longest time I thought I might become

someone else.

I could be Norwegian and learn the language well so people would say how

no one could tell I wasn’t a native.

My hair would miraculously turn blond.

It would be ok to like sex.

I like the sounds of their desserts.

Or I could be a lawyer in Manhattan wearing crispy tight suits in black with very high heels and click click click across the court room floor stating my case with brilliant red lips and always winning.

Rootless like a malformed carrot I

refuse to flourish in one place.

I know this is a  problem this rootlessness.

It’s prevented me from 

applying myself  to much of anything: love, housekeeping, friendship, home repair… you get the story. I kept a suitcase filled with cash hidden in my house and a bag packed with essentials which changed from month to month.

Now my rootlessness fits right in. No one is going anywhere but everyone would like to be rootless.

Where will I go when I can go anywhere?

Hawaii because I can’t get the music of palm trees out of my head.

Like Eloise, I could move into the Four Seasons hotel on the Big Island and go down to dinner every night sitting at the bar overlooking the lapping ocean generously tipping the bartender so that he always saved my seat.

And oh yes there is the spa with palm leaves that rattle above your hut while you are having a massage. Preferably a Lomi Lomi massage and I don’t know what that is.

I have entertained myself all day thinking of places I would like to go when I can go anywhere. Frankly, it may be better in my imagination. That’s been a life long problem of mine.

Person of Interest

“I bought a trailer because I joined a gang.

My feet itched and my rain was shutting

down so I became a nomad

something I’ve always wanted to be.

Some language has a word for it: people

who don’t feel like they belong anywhere.

That’s me. I’m pretty old so I was worried

about camping places

alone. Don’t get me wrong I’ve got two

dogs but they haven’t been trained for

anything

but disobedience which I am fond of.

I am old now so no one would be interested

never knowing that I have a flipstack of cash

stored in my hubcaps: left front and right

rear.

I’ve always liked going north.

It doesn’t matter where I start

I just like heading north.

And I like it

Alone”

Taken from the Missouri Star interview with Lulu Roamer photographed in front of her Teardrop camper

Last Woman on Earth

I am the last woman on earth.

I live alone in my house and every day I do the Schedule:

yoga, coffee, meditation, breakfast, look out the window, laundry,

make the bed,

take a shower, take a walk, lie on the floor, wait for the dogs to

jump on me, eat stuff from the fridge,

gaze into it awhile. Brush my hair.

Add blush. Add mascara after thinking about how long it will take

to remove later.

No lipstick.

Yesterday I considered a small glass of red wine with breakfast.

I can’t remember the day.

My neighbor’s new dog barks

enough to make napping problematic.

I drink a lot of tea with half and half and maple syrup which is

tastier than sugar.

After 6 my garage is a café for friends

and dinner comes in white cardboard boxes. We slip food under

our masks like horses with feed buckets or dogs with muzzles.

We are dreamers who believe

next month will bring hope back and neighbors come

two by two

like passengers on Noah’s Ark

run aground and have a hard time leaving.

I’m glad for the distraction and for the wine and anesthesia.

I don’t tell anyone about the hopelessness.

Summer 1955

Summer 1955

Nothing is moving today.

Neither the trees nor the grass

not the top parts of the ocean

nor the blacks birds over the path.

The heat falls onto us mid morning and

children

lose interest in torturing the dog.

I think I hear

the Good Humor man’s truck,

an echoing television from an open window,

the hiss hiss of the sprinkler whipping

around its three pronged medusa heads,

over the damp, soft grass.

Inside, a white eyelet nightgown’s

rustle, moving metal treasures in my

Grandmother’s drawers while she napped

with her eyes open.

Our Front Hall

Our Front Hall

Our front hall had a very tall grandfather clock at the foot of the stairs keeping watch over the household. No one could wind it but my father and the clock defined the nights in regular chimes reaching everyone’s ears in everyone’s bedroom.There was a front hall table made of lustrous mahogany where mail and packages were placed daily.The legs of the table looked like a young girl with four legs curtseying all at once. I know because I spent a lot of time under there waiting for God knows what. My favorite part however In this wonderful area of our house was the front hall closet which no one could put anything in except for my father. It was his personal closet for his overcoat and his hats and his umbrellas and his galoshes. I don’t remember hearing we weren’t supposed to go in the closet so I went in the closet quite a bit. There was a shelf the hats were on that had a thumbtacked piece of decorative ribbon that was ruched: something I had never seen before. I took some delight in pulling a piece of it off and seeing what it felt like. My father had four or five coats in there and most of the coats were some range of the color gray. There were cashmere coats, and wool coats, and cotton coats, and canvas coats. The coats had a big life and seemed to go out a lot. Sometimes alone, and sometimes in pairs the coats went out in the world: across oceans and in airplanes, office buildings, and houses not ours, down inside boats, outside on sidewalks. They always came back home slightly different than when they had left. I knew this because when I went in the closet I would stand up inside each coat starting with my head going into the bottom because they were buttoned up, you see, and I would shimmy myself up to usually just the lowest button because my father was very tall and I was still short. I would stand there and breathe in the outside world imagining where he had been and who he had seen and the smell of old Spice would anesthetize me against the real world. In the closet I created whatever I wanted sometimes for hours. No one ever looked for me. I stood so still inside a coat I became a part of its life.

If I hadn’t asked

If I hadn’t asked who you were having dinner with that night

I wouldn’t be crazy lost now and you wouldn’t have moved to

Connecticut with an eyebrowed cooking woman: something I would

never be.

If I hadn’t asked if you liked sleeping alone maybe

we would have grown accustomed to each other sighing

into our dreams, a hip teaspooned into a hip, yours so much

fuller than mine, sailing on into the night, no navigational devices needed.

Bacon for breakfast.

If I hadn’t read her emails maybe I could have forgotten the alert messages

coming almost daily into my cerebral cortex. Messages telling me the ice was

thin though it was late summer.

If I hadn’t asked why you were leaving maybe I would still believe you

did love me though now I see all I need to do is be silent and I’ll

never learn that.

To be published in the Cape Rock

The Hard, Cold Snow

The Coming of the Snow

The hard, cold snow is here,

The kind that makes you wince.

The great, crackling steps one takes that sink unexpectedly,

Mother earth reminding you she’s but a heavy footfall away.

So a morning walk becomes impossible and the dog, depressed.

Your husband reminds you how he loves the winter but

You remember how warm sun feels and how each morning contains freedom.

There are those who live outside and those who live inside.

The watchers and the livers

Each needs the other to remind them what they miss

Not better or worse

Just different.