4 The Brink Rises Up

In this time of no place to go
And even though I promised
Myself I wouldn’t
Yesterday I stepped right on up
To the brink
Tumbled over and over
By a sneaker wave of terror
That threatened to pull me under
Into some of the desperate darkness
I knew only too well
In the long ago
 
For a brief time
I couldn’t see the faint line
Between paranoia and reality
Did I scrub enough after S.
Dropped off the groceries
Is my death coming
On a package from amazon
Will a friend’s child
Ill with the right symptoms
Bring unbearable loss
 
I didn’t stand on the brink long
Took my own hand
And stepped back from the edge
Got a shower
Loved on my cats
Ate a last sweet pear of the season
But for a moment there
Or five
My sanity felt fragile
Until I could arouse
My attention to the possible
 
Jill Kelly
March 20, 2020
Posted by At 4:42 pm

Waking Up Early and Present

When I was a drunk
4 am was the witching hour
of withdrawal
the escape door of sleep
slamming shut
I’d lie in a private hell
waiting for another day of predictable misery
 
This week of change and uncertainty
has me waking at 4 again
after 30 years without a drink
But now I lie in the haven of early spring
which whispers through the open window
grateful for the choice I made
to be present to my life
present to the tender heart in me that worries
about who will adopt the shelter animals now
present to the inexplicable happiness
that washed over me yesterday afternoon
 
Jill Kelly
March 19, 2020
Posted by At 4:40 pm

Hope for the Earth’s Caring

I heard no fear
in the robin’s tune
saw no worry
in the healthy appetites
of my four felines
For a moment
I envied their ignorance
but how do I know
they don’t know
Perhaps they are
as attuned as we
to this energy
of apprehension
and they rejoice anyway
 
I want to believe
the Earth cares more
not less
for us in this time
that the extravagant pageant
of daffodils and daphne
of tulip trees and iris
is arriving as a comfort
and a reminder for us
to take heart
in the beautiful familiar
 
Jill Kelly
March 18, 2020
 
Posted by At 11:04 am

The First Sleepless Night

Woke at four
Fear riding my bones
Two of my companions slept on
One at my flank
The other her nose
Buried in my shoulder
Her motor running
I lay in the dark
In my quiet bed
Scanning the night
Scanning my body
Wondering if
These are our last days
My last days
 
Sleep was done
In that way we just know
I made tea
Lit a candle
Asked Alexa to play Bill Douglas
“Peace of the quiet stars to you”
To loosen the scare
Coating my skin
Let me catch
A full breath of peace
A sip of tea
Let me send love
To those held in my heart
 
Jill Kelly
March 17, 2020