Tag Archives: DeMaris

Haircut

He tried to pay me
that first time I cut his hair
and I said no—
no way—
said I was happy
to do something for him—
reminded him how much
he’d done for me.
And I found a twenty
in my purse the next day—
but since then
my dad just sits
in the chair on the patio—
closes his eyes
and crosses his arms
when its time for me
to spread the towel
over his shoulders
and cut away
the excess gray—
he knows that love
is the only currency
we’ll exchange—
and today we both know
that between this haircut
and the next
he’s going to have his heart
opened up for repairs
and someone else
will be making the cuts—
and I know both of us
are hoping
the surgeon’s hands
will be steadier than mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-21-18

“Samson and Delilah” by Padovanino (1588-1649, Italy)

Where No One Can Follow

Rain all morning

nowhere to go

but inward

where the memories

are stored

where the only thing

that can reach me

is music—

a guitar

and a couple of voices

in harmony

that seem to be saying

all the things I can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-19-18

“Meridian Street, Thawing Weather” by T.C. Steele, 1887

Cake

Just for him

she baked

a beautiful cake–

multiple tiers

icing so white

it seemed to glow

and there were

fowers too–

sugar-sweet

pastel soft

and he was not

misled

by this facade–

he knew that inside

was a different

kind of sweet–

dark–

the color of sin–

but just when

he was sure

the time had come

to enjoy

this decadence

he watched her

recoil

as he lifted a fork

above this

aesthetic perfection

and he realized

he wouldn’t

be allowed

to have his cake

and eat it too.

Welcome Packet

Dearest lover,
I have compiled
a list of instructions—
a user guide for this body
you claim to love—
know first
that my heart
is not filled by you—
you alone do not feed
or complete me.
There will always be
an unnamed vacancy
beside you.
Please know
my time with you
will never be enough
and will often be too much
and I will need
to recede into solitude
where I will suffer
from regrets
I will never share with you.
I will expect you
to read my mind
when I am silent—
and when you can’t
I’ll withdraw from you
for a while
until I remember
you can’t see
into my imagination.
When I re-emerge
I’ll require copious
amounts of affection
and will need
to give you even more
than I receive.
Know that I will need you
more than you need me
but I will never
show it.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-2-18

Sparrows

The sparrows
finches
chickadees—
all of them know
his kindness is reliable
even when, especially when
cold, frost and snow
cover their world in difficulty—
they know where to find his love
poured into the feeders
outside his windows—
they taste it in the suet
he prepared and stuffed
into the vacancies
of a fallen cedar
to give energy and sustenance
to wings of all colors
that flicker
like his memories
of a different landscape
a different decade
when he met a girl
who flew in for a closer look
and spread her love over his world—
he soared so high
it took him a long time to land
and by then she was gone—
so he keeps the birds near
to remind him how it felt
to be weightless—
and every morning
the sparrows return
and every evening
they fly away
and take with them
small pieces of his sorrow.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-29-18

“Snow Birds” by Andrew Wyeth

Snow Angel

Today, the future has finally arrived
giftwrapped in snow—
it’s the future I hoped for
doubted
questioned
when I hiked alone
around Yellowwood Lake
a dozen years ago
on a white winter day like this—
ignorant, then,
of how to tell the oaks apart
after their leaves had fallen—
back when I hadn’t a clue
which bird was singing which song—
all I wanted in those days
was someone to share that beauty—
someone
who didn’t need to know anything
about the plants
that grew in wetlands
or on the prairies—
I could have been happy
with a partner
who knew nothing
of the migration patterns
of falcons and owls—
I could have loved someone
even if he couldn’t explain
the differences between
cumulus and cirrus clouds—
but somehow
here I am
on my back in the snow
making angels with someone
who wants to know as much about me
as he knows
about every wildflower
he’ll name for me in spring.

DeMaris
1-15-18

Painting by TC Steele, “Early Snow”