Now and Then

Now and then, I remember
when we were young.
We made love in a cold room
with plastic sheeting on the window.
We rocked and rolled
beneath the patterned quilt—
(our un-guilty Christmas gift
to each other),
and kept our socks on.

We didn’t care about the blare
of Seger’s “Still the Same”
coming from the flat upstairs,
and “Jagged Little Pill”
across the hall.
We only knew our own
small world under the covers.

We worked temp
to pay the bills,
shopped “no frills”
for yellow-labeled cans
and made plans for the future …

milestones have transpired,
but we can smile
at how happy we were
and how we still have some fire—
we’re still the same lovers …
now and then.

Kathleen Mortensen©2017

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Through the Looking Glass

Lost my looks
some time ago, at least
that’s how it feels,
despite appeals of protest
from the man in my life.

Gone more grey, recently
from the strife of just being alive.

Sure, I scrub up well,
and maybe only I can tell
my hair is thinning
and a thickness is winning
at the middle.

I’m not exactly an old biddy yet,
but there’s no surprise in eyes anymore
when I reveal my age.

I look in the bathroom mirror
and wonder when it happened?
There must have been a solitary day
where I crossed that line
between youth and … anyway,

don’t know where I’m going with this,
and then I think,
nobody’s waiting for it—there’s no deadline,
all these changes will still be here
to write about tomorrow …
unless I’m not.

*wink, wink

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

Time On My Hands IV

I wake and stretch;
fingers resist, insisting
on their preferred curl—
unfurling
reluctantly along with
tired limbs.

There’s black dirt
trapped beneath short nails—
residue from mulch
hand-spread on parched ground.

We are both drying up,
the earth and I.

This organ, this skin
is burnished by the sun,
all-weathering.

Its network of fine lines
weaves organic leather
preserving the underneath.

These hands,
God willing,
may serve—’til my death.

Kathleen Mortensen @2016

 

Please visit the below links to read the first three poems in this series.  Thank you.

Time On My Hands III

Time On My Hands II

Time On My Hands I

Poem For My Mother

I wasn’t really paying attention,
when all this transpired.
Were you?

Somehow, your arms are no longer
the comforting embrace
I remember.

How can they be?
You need me more than I do you.

I can see things more clearly,
reason better, make sense of things
you cannot.
(You don’t like to admit that.)

It’s not that you’re a fool.
It’s just some of the facts
get lost; I’m the one who finds them.
It’s me, who now knows best.

How did it happen?
Where did those years disappear?

I look in the mirror
and still see your little girl,
but the world sees, I’m all grown up.

Once, you rinsed my hair in the kitchen sink
and buckled my Buster Browns.
Now you’re my concern,
though you still think the shoe
is on the other foot.

Kat Mortensen©2009