Thirst

The sun was hotter:
You can tell.
Look at the people squinting against it in photos then.
Everything washed out by glare: Faces, thoughts,
All detail surrendered.
We could be anybody.

The gardens are parched,
Look at them.
It hurt to walk on the grass.
Everyone burned raw.
We lay in barren backyards
slathering butter on our chests,
Chain-smoking and eating fluorescent cheesies,
Swilling scarlet soda.

Nothing could go wrong.
Caution was ahead of us.
Men were above us,
Landing on the moon.

There’s Always the Guy.

There’s always the guy
At pub closing time
Mall food courts
Wedding dinners.

He wants to sit you down
Straighten you out.
Tell you how things work.
You have it all wrong, you see.
He laughs in your face.

You listen
Because it’s late, or it’s early,
You have nowhere to go
And no one waiting.

His oldest kid is 27, hasn’t seen him in years,
but good riddance.
And three exes,
somewhere.
Hey, where do you think you’re going?
He’s yelling at your back.
Wait. Honey.
Let me tell you about love.

Relay for Life

I have been committed emotionally to the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since losing my mother far too many years ago to stomach cancer. My lovely Scottish mother was my touchstone and I miss her every day of my life. As a poet I pour much of my grief into my work – just as I did when I lost my father the year following. I think my poetry helped save my life (yet again) in those dark days after both were taken from me too young. If you’d like to read some of these poems I wrote about their lives visit my website at http://www.triciamccallum.com Once on my homepage choose the heading entitled “Time Was”on the left hand side menu bar. I would love you to come and visit. Some day when you find some quiet time. And bring a cup of hot tea.

Sadly, my commitment to helping stop this modern day scourge was forged even deeper this past year when I learned my younger brother had been diagnosed with Stage Three colon cancer. The news was devastating for all of us, hitting us like a bolt out of the blue, in particular his young family. He has just completed a six-month course of chemo and soldiers on with such an upbeat wonderful attitude he humbles me. He jokes and makes light of it all, making it easier for everyone who loves him. And many do. We all pray he remains in remission.

Once

For my very first post, I chose a poem I wrote last week that is close to my heart, entitled “Once.”

Once

Never the one you think
Never the one that should.
Never the right time
Or enough time.
Never again the sweet lull
of the day-to-day.

No more easy solace
Or just passing time.
No more the open-ended chat
The breezy how are you
The unburdened goodbye.

Never again
The unbridled laughter
The unfettered innocence
The making sense.
Never again the sweet lull
of the day-to-day.