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Friday, August 26, 2011

a slave to words

sometimes a piece of work
drips off the ends of my
fingers   slides across my
keyboard & writes itself
at others   words wedged in
creases of my right brain 
   await excavation   
   conveyance to the page
words   my dearest lovers
   my most cruel enemies
serve me at their pleasure
& make of me their slave

©  2011 cj Schlottman

Saturday, August 20, 2011

If I Die Young

if i die young it will be 
at 95   surrounded
by friends and family
as we take afternoon tea
there will be champagne on ice
lovely luscious lemon squares
salty   spicy-hot cheese straws 
slices of soft sweet pound cake
i will hold court from my bed
swathed with sheer silk canopies
as yards of laughter cut from 
the bolt of my life fade to 
endless stories born of our
intertwined lives   braided of
love   woven into fine cloth 
i will smile   sip tea   wait to
take sweet kisses from each of you
hold your warm hands in mine  
cool now as i feel myself
fade   grow smaller 
sunshine will shimmer through thin
curtains as it begins its
descent   bathing our faces
in soft light of my dying
i will love you forever
©  2011 cj Schlottman

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sarah at 28

I nose my car into
an angled parking space 
at Wal Mart.   A furnace 
blasts my face as I
step into the sun.
A voice   traveling on
the wind   rings familiar.
   “Sir could you spare some money?”
My head jerks.   Sarah.
At the “Enter” door
   hand held out   eyes down
   panhandling    begging
money from strangers.
A tank top   olive drab
hugs her slender body
   tattered baggy pants
puddle over rubber flip-flops.
Sweat glistens on her brow.
She looks up   a startled
glance that radiates shame
reveals black-rimmed eyes
   silent screams at their core
   her pasty face pocked with 
scabs of psoriasis
   arms tattooed with figures
I cannot make out.
I half expect her to
move in my direction.
Instead   she returns
her gaze to the pavement
   shuffles her feet.
I manage a whispered hello
   move through the sliding door
swallowing bile.   I rush
to the toilet   vomit
   wretch   heave   wash my face
   rinse my mouth, blow my nose.
I sit on the wooden bench
outside the restroom
   fend off more nausea 
   wonder how this child
grew into an addict
   a street person in rags
   blackened blonde hair a
thin disguise.  Our granddaughter.
Juicy Fruit my only 
purchase   I drag myself 
to the door   find her gone 
   stumble to my car   
   tear open the gum   stuff two 
pieces in my mouth   chew 
   chase the foul taste 
   sit   wait   as tears dry 
   wonder how I came here  
how I’ll find my way home. 
©  2011 cj Schlottman