Friends, it’s ragweed season. Please don’t gawk at me like I’m about to give you the ‘vid. Can I help it if my five-pound yorkie has a bladder the size of a green bean? Is it my fault that I need to let him out approximately six times each and every morning? Am I too blame if the neighbor has cut his grass yet again, proudly proclaiming, “If it’s brown, it’s down!” ? Friends, it’s ragweed season. Now I ask you, when you have not seen me clutching a Kleenex? And now you’re hunkering down as I’m honking down the hall. You snivel and stare while I snort and sniffle. In fact, you cower while I’m coughing. Friends, it’s ragweed season. Covid is a problem, yes, indeed. But seasonal allergies are here to stay. Sinus infections hold simultaneous reign. Add in the garden variety colds and bronchitis, and soon it becomes a war out there. Friends, it’s ragweed season. I’m quadruple vaxxed and wear a mask. I slather on hand sanitizer like it’s Chanel No. 5. I avoid crowds and make like Sting singing, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” I’m a-tryin’ my best to be safe, but I’m still a-hackin’, so please don’t forget: Friends, it’s ragweed season. Slumber Since our time like this is limited, I want to hang on to these illicit moments And just savor them. The tickle of your warm breath on the back of my neck. Your feet pushing into me. I want these sensations seared into my memory. Pinned against you, I cannot move. I don’t want to let go of this. Even though I am losing valuable rest. Even though I know it won’t last, can’t last, I don’t want to give in to the inevitable And ask you to leave. You will, of course. Generally, you’ll do whatever I say. But in these quiet, peaceful moments before daylight, I just want to let this wondrous perception of being at peace with the world just penetrate Every fiber of my being. I want to be lost in that wanderlust of my mind. Imagining what we’ll do together And what our days might bring. You keep my secrets, offer solace in my sorrow, and make me smile when I feel I can’t. You never question my decisions, but you do try to steal my Raisin Bran when I’m not looking. Yet you never make me cry. With you here, I am not lonely when I am alone. Nights like these are few and far between So they should be held onto, Kept precious in my soul. You will be my friend forever, my protector, and my loyal companion. But how you take up half a king-size bed is beyond me. Especially when you weigh just twenty pounds. When your owner comes home, You’ll be going back to your dog bed. And I’ll finally get some sleep. Give me Three Steps...or Seven One Facebook meme, poised to save the world, distilled the keys to a good life into just a few easy steps: eat your vegetables, get enough sleep, exercise daily. Somehow I’m guessing the fruit in my blood orange margarita doesn’t count. I’m doubtful that rolling into bed at midnight and getting up at four to let the dog out can be viewed as “good sleep.” Scooting to the mailbox probably can’t be classified as physical activity, either. Should I assume these secrets of life will arm me with coping skills for enduring the death dates of the passing of those we loved, witnessing the hospice care for a dear relative, red pills, yellow pills, pills all over, or submitting myself to the endless prattling on about neighbors from thirty years ago that my mother keeps insisting I know? Will this sage advice assist me in tolerating the tailgater who is in a hurry to go nowhere, or the guy who continues coughing on me at the grocery, or the DirecTV bills that won’t stop coming? Can these three steps really strengthen my my resolve when hit with the deluge of commercials for what I don’t want or need, and then get tricked into buying that veggie chopper that will turn my life around but the flat tire stops me dead in my tracks? (Who loses a knife in a snow embankment on the public square, anyway?) Would life be easier if I just ate some apples, slept for six hours, and walked a mile each day? Would the Board of Health approve of the hunger in the eyes of my beloved when he looks at me, the succulent wickedness of Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “Champagne Jam,” the sweet burn of a good Fireball whiskey searing my throat, or the quiet hum of the bumble bees huddled next to my moonflowers? My dog gazes at me, searching my face, my reflection etched in his black eyes, his white fur plastered to my tee shirt. Bio: I’m a newbie to the world of poetry, though I have been writing for awhile. I’m a former English professor at a small college in Ohio. I dream of living in the Outer Banks, and I enjoy spending time with my family, two good dogs, and one cranky as hell cat.
Oh, yes! I love the sound and feeling of reading your poetry. As a nonagenarian, my own, modest poetry would probably be regarded as ‘old-fashioned…’ Well done you! Cheers.
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Thank you so much!