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


I Don’t Know What To Call This

my life is measured out
in cans of cat food
and empty toilet rolls
in flattened cereal boxes
and gnawed apple cores
it’s load upon load of laundry
glaucoma drops—twice a day
and 4:00 p.m. tots of sherry.

my life is pieced together
in yards of dental floss
man-handled tubes of toothpaste
cold tea bags and dumped
coffee grounds
it’s scads of used tissues
in purses and pockets along with
half-filled bottles of hand-sanitizer

it’s scooped out in pellet-litter
and cups of birdseed
handfuls of peanuts-in-the-shell
and jugs of water
ceramic pots with serrated silver spoonfuls
of marmalade or jam

my life is milk-stains
on a maple floor
dirt in corners, single cat whiskers
caught in rugs
it’s kitchen knives
ritually washed again and again
and plastic tabs from bread bags

Imagine if I could count all these things in reverse;
I’d return to the first moment
when I could measure nothing at all—

I would be unborn.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

I’m Giving Thanks (off the cuff)

Red, Gilbert & Daisy (from L to R)


I’m thankful for the life I’ve got
The life You’ve given me
For food and health and water-
Streaming forth with purity.

I’m thankful for the folk I know
And ones I’ve yet to meet
Those gentle souls who pass me by
As I stroll down the street.

I’m thankful for my one true love
My heart he holds with care
And trust I him, with all my thoughts
To him, my soul’s laid bare.

I’m thankful for the mom and dad
Who opened up my eyes
With invaluable lessons
Now, I’m grown, I realize.

I’m thankful for the creature-cats
Who populate our home
They snuggle up and keep us warm
Who needs a dog to come?

I’m thankful for the grace of God
Who put me on this earth
And blesses me continually
With mercies and with mirth.

Kathleen Mortensen©2008

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