Each month, the Denver VOICE publishes a selection of writing from workshops sponsored by Lighthouse Writers Workshop. The Hard Times Writing Workshop is a collaboration between Denver Public Library and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. This workshop is open to all members of the public—especially those experiencing homelessness. Hard Times meets every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of DPL’s Central branch. The Lighthouse sponsored workshop at The Gathering Place is specifically for that organization’s clients.
To check out more writing by the poets featured in this column, go to writedenver.org.
Holder of all
here on earth.
Absorber of water
Beneath what the eye can see
underworld of life
creating breathing pockets
from creatures living in murky grey darkness.
Feeding from it, eating from it.
Even leaves rustling their own melody in the breeze
will return to you
As I wish upon my passing to nurture
Feed you with blessings
with gratitude of the sacred mysteries
you have given,
unfolding when I’ve walked your cushioned path.
Mom’s battle is coming to an end.
Cancer rages through her body.
Realization dawns on us.
Time is growing short.
Everything needed to be said,
has been said.
Everything we needed to know,
We’ve be told.
She slips into a final coma.
She is beginning to leave us.
Each family member in turn
Approaches her hospital bed.
Our eyes red, voices thick,
each tell her it’s okay to go.
My sister and I talk quietly.
There nothing more to be done.
Her girls are exhausted.
We agree the need to leave.
Home to rest,
For what is to be.
Mother and daughter united
In this time, in this place.
As she watched over her mother,
her daughter now watches over her.
As she was strong for us,
I’m now strong for her.
Now we wait in the eternal now.
Death set its own schedule.
The room is still and cold,
as she begins her final journey.
She takes her last breath.
The world recedes.
Her heart beats for a moment.
Then no more.
I speak my final words to her.
Quietly I leave the room.
It was a hard choice to make,
but I settled down, relaxed and took the journey inside myself.
The gate had been left open, waiting for me,
The Tudor-style road led straight to my memories, where I hesitated.
I didn’t want to proceed —
no, not even a glance —
for I had forgotten who I was and where I came from.
It happens —
Shit messes with your life and you retreat,
complete with herb and vodka,
into your comfort zone,
pulling the covers to the neckline while
rolling that stone in front of the entrance.
Today is not the day —
Enough of the fits and fights
between my id and my ego.
I want my mind back
I want myself intact
I just might intentionally attack!
Smack in the middle of what is and what it’s supposed to be.
Jacked into a corner by the powers that see,
I want me to go back to being me,
to slap the sun upside its head,
to dance till music tucks me into bed,
to work that sex machine like it’s risen from the dead!
I want what’s called a life instead.