Should I get lost, point me in the direction of a poem.


February 3rd, 2018 | Posted by bbleen in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on A PROPER MOURNING)

No mound of dirt was shuffled to top a grave.

There will be no tombstone nor epitaph, no weeds to pull,

lawn to mow, flowers to tend. There will be none of these.

Only this box, this terra-cotta colored plastic box comprised

of a sampling of him, secured by a seat belt on my car’s backseat.

It’s fallen to me to transport his ashes from a city in Ohio

to one in West Virginia, my poor dad, who’s had the misfortune

of dying in a hospital two hundred miles from home.

How ironic I think, that of all his years of living he never once

rode in my car, yet here we are on a road trip together.

This is not my father.

But it may as well be, the distance looms between us

just as big a gap as it ever was, minus the polite conversation,

the awkward moments we’d always encountered when together.

As I drive I feel this need to talk to him, to tell him what I have

always wished I could say, I love you Dad.

But the words won’t make that transition from head to mouth,

prove themselves no easier to say after his death than they did

in life. So I recite my poetry to him, poetry being the only thing

I have to offer, words I’d never shared with him when he was alive.

Poems flow from my mouth as freely as the tears which stream

down my face. I cry for my dad, but also for myself, for all the hugs

never exchanged, all the words left unsaid.

The car is eerily silent as I drive, searching the sky for a sign,

something to let me know he is at peace. But there is nothing, only

blue sky dotted with clouds and this plastic box entrusted to me for

safe delivery. It asks nothing of anyone, gives nothing in return.

Shortly it will be delivered to its final destination.

Without hoopla or fanfare it will be placed on a table set up for the

ceremony, put there with all intent and purposes of giving him a

proper mourning


February 3rd, 2018 | Posted by bbleen in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT)

Sitting by the window

in the pale moonlight

I rocked your newborn baby

as you prepared to go out

with a friend,

for you had the desire, the need,

to dance.

Barely over the birth process

you looked radiant

as you entered the room

wearing that little black dress

that I know, you swore,

you would never fit in again.

The music was playing and

you picked up your baby

and danced with her,

swaying to the music and

twirling her around the room

and I swear, I was never

as proud of you as I was

just then.

Fondly I recalled,

how once upon a time

this child’s mother was

that little girl of mine.

Then wiping the tears

out of my eyes,

bidding the past adieu,

inspired by you,

I got up, and I danced too.


I walked the floor, eight months pregnant and dead tired, jumping

each time tires on the gravel road broke the silence, peering out the

window through the darkness at the slam of a car door only to discover

it was a neighbor coming home. We had no phone so you couldn’t call.

I had no friends in whom I could confide. It was so cold outside and

that old furnace would clog so I’d have to bleed the lines like I’d

watched you do, my big belly squeezed tight in that small hall space

trailers are known for.


You never came home that night nor the next day. It wasn’t until the late

show with Johnny Carson signed off that you came ambling in as if it were

just an ordinary night and you hadn’t been gone for two days. There was

no anger in my voice, at least not then, only relief.  You hadn’t been in an

accident after all-my worst fear. I believed your explanation, so lame in love

with you, your explanation so lame it’s not worth remembering now.


And that summer day I spent washing clothes and had put that shaggy blue

rug down in the hallway fresh off the line you came home late again,

saying you’d had a rough day and going straight to bed. I stopped dead in

my tracks at the sight of that tiny sparkling earring lying on the rug, one I’d

never seen before in my life. I pondered where it could have come from

the rest of the night.


Or the day when I had to borrow your car and I put groceries on the back

seat and found that small plastic toy on the mat behind the driver’s seat that

obviously belonged to someone else’s child. I spent the whole day trying to

convince myself there must be a reasonable explanation because you would

never cheat on me. Would never cheat on me. Would you?


And there was that motorcycle accident mentioned in the local section of

the Wheeling newspaper, an accident which left your right knee tore up so

bad that to this day you still have a scar.  You could have knocked me over

with a feather when I read your name and the fact that you had a companion

with you listed only as female, twenty-two.


The first time you stayed out all night I should have known. They say that

hindsight is twenty/twenty. They say love is blind. They say life isn’t always

fair. They say love hurts.


To this I can attest. Even after all these yearslove hurts.