Part Of The View

The Irish school girls beg for money, 2 Euros for the Irish Heart Association,on busy Grafton Street as early morning commuters hurry past. In their overly long plaid skirts, white blouses, and red sweaters, the girls look very prim and proper, until I overhear one say, “This is shite.” Her friend swings her empty white bucket in silent agreement.

I make my way as always to St. Steven’s Green to watch the swans and ducks, the gulls and lowly pigeons. A woman in a rainbow sweater strolls by her arms loaded with bread . She asks if I would like some to feed the birds, but I decline. She nods. “You’ve come for the view,” she says.

“I’ve come for the view.”

She smiles, and her eyes twinkle a little. “It’s a good view. Peaceful.” She moves on, throwing chunks of bread into the water. The birds set up a clatter for a moment, then settle again as I seat myself on an out-of-the-way bench.

Outside the the park modern Dublin moves at a modern pace; its streets are crowded and voices speaking a variety of languages fill its streets. The Celtic Tiger may have been wounded but not mortally. I believe Ireland will sneak back on little cat feet. It’s part of it’s magic.

I feel myself relax, the peace and green, and the serenity restoring me somehow. It only happens here. Perhaps Leprechauns really do lurk under the bushes, just out of sight spreading their magic to us mortals.

I hear footsteps behind me and the click of a camera as a man in a jaunty tan cap begins to snap photographs. When I offer to get out of his way he says, “Oh no, love, you are the picture.”

Music for Pain

“I’m so psyched. Tom and I’ve been dating for six months. It’s like a record for me.” Shannon felt the giant smile in her words.

“We’re hitting The Blue Diamond tonight,” Emma said. “Why don’t you stop by? There’ll be a bunch of us.”

“Okay, maybe.”

It seemed like a fun idea. Shannon figured it was time she introduced Tom to her friends. He’d met Emma and and her roommate Amy, but their schedules were busy. He liked to spend time with her. The new love phase Emma called it, but she was a cynic.

But Tom was in a great mood. When he appeared at her door, he said why not make an appearance after dinner? They’d have a few drinks and slip out. It sounded like a plan.

When they reached The Blue Diamond, it wasn’t too crowded. Emma had saved a table and seven people already crowded in. Tom pulled up two chairs and they wedged between Amy and a guy named Chuck. As the the bar became more crowded, Shannon found herself having to shout to be heard;more often than not, she found herself facing Tom’s back. Whatever he and Amy were discussing, it was intense.

The bar kept getting louder and more crowded, and she began to feel like she was an outsider. Chuck was talking to his buddies, and what the hell was with Tom?

When the band came on, Shannon excused herself to go to the ladies room, and by the time she got back the table was empty. Her friends had hit the dance floor. Tom was dancing with Amy, but she figured it was because she wasn’t there when the music started. When the song ended, the band slowed the tempo, and she watched Tom slide his arms around Amy. She fit perfectly, and smiled up into his face.

A third and fourth dance passed, and Shannon took a twenty from her purse. She dropped it on the table and walked to the door, ignoring the two guys who asked her to dance.

Outside it had started to mist a little, but it wasn’t cold. She didn’t mind the wet. Music drifted out from clubs as she walked: a hip hop here, a little techno there, and best of all some slow, sweet jazz that wrapped around her heart and squeezed.

She wasn’t going to cry. Not yet. She go home and turn off her phone.
Maybe she’d put on a little Ella and listen to that wonderful voice sing about heartbreak and pain. Then she’d cry. Oh yes. Then she’d cry.

Zero

I’ve just gotten back from my run. I’m up to seven miles, and I’m way below my high school weight. This evening as I headed to my condo some guy even honked at me.

I look at myself in the mirror. Another twelve pounds and I’ll be down a whole dress size. Still, my butt looks huge. Maybe I’ll just skip dinner.

I take a shower. It’s cool I can count my ribs now, and I definitely have high def collar bones.

I go try on the dress I bought for Maddie’s wedding. It was tight when I bought it, but it sure isn’t now. Maybe I should return it. Throw it back in that snippy sales girl’s face and tell her I need something smaller than a zero.

That’s me. Smaller than a zero.

Still, I have loose folds of skin over my butt. It’s disgusting. I hate the
way I look. I’m still so fat. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

I hate myself.

Reflections

 We stand a solemn watch

     The young ones fidget

     Some cry

     Most bow their heads and murmer

      I think they pray for their own immortality

They say you were too young to go

     You lie so quiet in your earth furniture

     Your body of flesh and bone

      Waiting to return

     To the cycle of all life

But your soul is a winged creature

    That has already taken flight

    You travel the night sky

    Waiting just beyond my window

    Inexorable as time

I see you in the pale streams of gold

    That pour through the windows

    Your warmth envelops me

     I can almost hear the flutter of your wings

     Wait, I whisper, I am coming.