Bio Note: I am a psychotherapist, poetry therapist, and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. If you’re wondering what a poetry therapist does, we use poetry as a way to promote insight and healing. I’m very interested in emotional and physical healing of any kind and specialize in working with trauma. I have a new book, The Full Moon Herald from Grayson Books which is a poetry newspaper of sorts. I’ve been writing about the news for many years, as a way to cope with the traumas of our current times.
Loehmanns, My Mother’s Favorite Store
Becomes My First Employer
I was the one who took the fallen dresses, the designer pants and shirts hanging or lying in clumps on the benches inside the large dressing room, took them back out to the racks so another woman could try them. I was the one who cleaned up the racks, rearranged the sizes where they should go. It was a comfort to be amongst all those beautiful silks, rayons, plaids, stripes. Trying to make some sense out of childhood, to wear the questions I hoped clothes could answer.
Originally published in Silver Birch Press
In the Year of the Disease
there was nothing more to lose until there was. It was one thing after another, the spring we hardly could notice although it went on without a second thought. It was the fabric of the human world unraveled. No haircuts, no friends around the table, no doctor visits. It was going to work, buying, selling, all lost, or morphed into sitting in front of our machines of connection. It was grace, had we lost her or did she watch from her balcony as the world pitched into a chasm of mystery and gloom? Was she a woman, or had she shapeshifted into a dream? A tulip or a violet open in the sun? Some of us knew they could find her, knew the places she liked to hang out, while others kept trying for a glimpse, like looking for someone or something that had died. But she hadn’t. She might have been obscured in grief, as she could pick it up on the wind, in the sun or stars. She might have been angry, and had to hide with the flowers she crushed in her fists. Maybe she was too tired or heartsick herself for a time. Maybe she was lost somewhere until she could find her way. The way. The way back from a disaster.
From my forthcoming book The Full Moon Herald Grayson Books.
The grocery store gave us seven bananas we didn’t ask for in our curbside pickup bag. Our next door neighbor said he’d take three off our hands for his trip tomorrow to Utah. His wife with dementia gone just a week. The other three are going to our neighbor on the other side, who gave up sugar but not fruit, so God would let her daughter keep the newly adopted baby during the trial period. And we’re keeping one. Banana. The New York Times asks if we have been hungry and the answer is no. But I wish I could find more bananas for all the hungry people, children and their parents. Then I would be doing more than writing about it. About how this pandemic is starving some of us. I would figure out a way to feed the people who are ravenous, give them food trucks, restaurants, unlimited curbside pickups. Because it’s not okay to be famished, to be craving security when there isn’t so much, people dying as usual and more than usual. At least the baby is going to stay where she is. At least one less tragedy to face.
Originally published at www.poetryxhunger.com
©2020 Phyllis Klein
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL