Year of Nectar

Farewell 2016! Top of the year to you!

Year of Nectar

I called this year,
year of nectar,
(italicized font required),
thinking I could leapfrog living,
with its rind and pith.
I wanted to avoid hard frost,
assure aqueducts of spring water,
abundant sun and leaf shine,
but citrus canker and sooty mold came anyway,
for me electoral, familial,
custodial, financial, bacterial
oh and a bum knee :)

This year was glass after glass of grapefruit,
the juice bitter but you know it is
better for you.
We want things to be easy,
to be given front row parking,
but sometimes there are puddles,
there are holes in our solesouls,
our hems drag.
I watch other mortals
and wonder how they keep at it,
and yet I am asked,
how do you manage it all?
Do I?
Most evenings at six,
I am putting on my pajamas.

It is said how you do one thing
is how you do everything.
This poem is a perfect example.
Two stanzas to write and talk
and soothe myself into safety.
I am often under the table singing
“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”
but wait, a party,
people I love are here,
I really do like cake, let me cry a little
and then I would love to blow out the candles
and wishes, yes, I have lots of those.

I considered this year
how you come into this world,
is how you come into anything.
For me, anesthetized, forceps,
hospital stay because I was jaundiced,
reluctant young mother.
It was early December, in Baltimore,
snow falling, Christmas decorations
in the shops and windows.

No wonder the holidays slay me,
I imagine my mum almost fifty years ago,
anxious and afraid,
stuffed with me as a turkey dinner,
Of course, I panic
when x-mas tree lots colonize corners,
all my life I have been like her,
Mary looking for an inn.
The moon was waxing to full, evenly cleaved.
An astrologer claims half full
is the height of creative action.
I have been swimming underwater
(the anesthesia),
I am rescuing a mermaid
(my mother has beautiful green eyes),
toward the shore where there is a luau
(my ambition and projects).
We think these things don’t matter,
that we came into being like the latest doll,
in cellophaned boxes lining toy shelves,
but we arrive with lineages,
links, the ink pretty close to dry.
It all matters—
your birth story, your parents’ story,
the moon and season,
the latitude and longing-itude.

A year of anticipated ambrosia,
but first, another graduate-schoolism.
Our brain uploads negative experiences
five to seven times stronger than happy ones.
We need to tie a bow on our joy,
in therapy talk, amplify and reframe,
in my walk, gratify and up our game.
Nectar, yes as from sweet orange,
neroli nuggets—
I got engaged! And bought a house!
And started a master's program!
My daughter finished high school!
I went around Italy on a cruise ship that
had self portrait paintings of Rembrandt
on each landing! I took selfies with the
colosseum in Rome as the backdrop!
My daughter traveling alone stayed safe,
she texted pictures of stone cottages
and parking lots of bicycles!

The man I love proposed in the middle of a river.
His eyes are June morning blue,
his heart is that of Joseph and Jesus.
My teenagers didn’t always ignore me,
lingered sometimes to talk in my bedroom.
I held hands with a homeless woman
after giving her five dollars.
I wore wool gloves and her hands were cold.
I regret not giving the gloves to her,
but next time I will,
I hadn’t thought of it until just now.