A Bag of Grateful Bones

Walking with Ollie

He stopped us at the park looking for the orange ball we played with two days ago,
the ball I picked up, carried home and left on the front porch,
the ball we stepped over to walk down the steps,
the ball that was ideal for his small mouth.
Maybe he thought another one would magically appear
just as the first one did.
It's hard to know the mind of a dog.

I met a neighbor and fellow teacher
who talked about her hair falling out in patches due to stress
And I talked about my gray roots.
What can you do during a pandemic?
Somehow hair just doesn't seem that important.
en if the beauty shops are starting to open.

We walked down Burnet Road, the road dividing the two jewelry stores
that were robbed last week.
Everything looks normal now, but it doesn't feel normal yet.
Random violence leaves its mark no matter if one is directly involved or not.
It reminds you that anything can happen at any time.
I guess that is not so bad a thing to remember.

At last we returned home to see two very sunny day lilies
Smiling, beckoning us to draw near as they swayed in the breeze.
As we approached, Ollie was oblivious
Or more likely, he was aware of something imperceptible to me
A smell intriguing only to a dog perhaps.

I, however, quickly narrowed in the motionless change in color: See both photos.

— Laurie Winnette

Turning Toward

I reach out to touch their hands,
my beloved grandchildren
I cannot reach their palms
or feel their touches now—

I am so near at times,
yet far away
we walk together
mindful not to

six feet away—the rule,
you are too close.
we want you to stay well.

days, now weeks
of distancing,
no touching

sometimes my mind
says, “do as you please,
you are 80,
no one can tell you
what to do,"

then I remember
what has taken
all these years to learn,
it’s not about me,
nothing is or ever was

now in the spaces
between us
moon lilies sprout
from the swamp of silence
with unexpected beauty.