My Sweet, Wizened Queen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 11, 2009
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I guess she was my best friend.
Tin door to the realm of optimism herself,
Smarties candy,
pig trinkets on shelves.
Inside a brassy lamp molts feathers of light.
I'd been welcomed even before entering her home.
At her usual nest, neatly dressed
atop a pewter wheelchair: her throne.
Feet slightly brushing
the berry plush carpet.
Her crisp salmon suit
interrupted by dark woolen socks
bloated on swollen ankles.
Her face clean and soft
silk hair floating atop
her crown, her sweet, wizened head.
My eyes catch abruptly
on her once lovely hands
mandrakes knobby and twisted by time
and arthritis that crippled
her strong, hardy body.
Yet iron runs firm through her veins.
I resume my complaining;
she says nothing trite in return –
a gentle lesson
in being thankful –
a lesson I've yet to learn.
She quilts stories for me,
spinning gently with words
of the halcyon days of her youth.
Oh goodness, Mrs. Updike, look at the time;
I really should be going, you know.
My summer days spent in her presence,
a contagious aura of peace.
I truly needed her then,
yet how abruptly summer leaves with the wind.
Not even a good-bye.
And now autumn returns,
business and distraction in tow.
They seem to be a threesome;
I liked summer better.
I see my friend little now.
But I know that she's there
waiting and
being positive as she knows how.
On short notice we move,
once again,
far away,
from my dear wizened friend and her joy.
Time marries change,
they have years of their own.
I've got friends in abundance now.
The world is my heartbeat,
joy my new stool.
Lonely thoughts rarely haunt my soul.
A warm summer evening,
fresh, sweet and rested,
surprises my senses.
How's my dearest of friends?
Mother, you must call her;
See if all is well on her end.
Dial the number.
The one we remember.
Ring, pause
ring, silence.
It aches to remember.
I know my heart's blunder.
Ring, silence.
Ring, silence.
She's gone.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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