As you know, here is a long tradition among poets of writing fiction in the first person. The sailboat in the poem was real, and the woman who commented from the shore. Three 'fishermen.' In fact, everything is true . E x c e p t that no one in my immediate family has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. [to which I lost my best friend years ago, among others. . .disease has had an impact on virtually everyone I know, and will continue to until a cure, or at least effective treatment, is found}. Doesn't mean it won't happen, and that is where the fear and anxiety fueling this piece come from. Shouldn't happen to a n yone!!
Re the poem overall, I expect it is obvious that I have mixed emotions. One of my most treasured memories!
Thank you for being here.
Before Lightning Strikes
Little tomato-red boat for a song. Sun
turning lemon, then hiding. Flump, flump,
flump of water objecting to our waifer-
thin hull. Three good old boys pretending
to fish. Two of us hugging the quiet
end, me in a homemade bathing suit
doesn't fit. Sale seersucker, stripes,
forgotten threads dangle. Marshmallow
cream on your nose, I tease. Weekday,
lake to ourselves, amost. As we cast off,
a woman sets down a pail and points.
"That a boat or a biscuit tray?" Ask
the three drift buy near noon, high
as the sun despite their motor-rigged
boat is riding low. Mostly fishing brews
from a humongous cooler. "Cain't be
married," the bareheaded one yells.
"Too happy!" "Years!!" you yell back.
Boom 'bout beans, feel myself melt.
Flump, flump, flump. Sky flawless,
then clouds. Forever getting to shore.
Don't say tack to me. Shower with you
after best. The cool. The tingle.
Who said tired? You have to remember,
you have to. Boat, sun, biscuit tray lady,
something. Trio with the outboard-
size cooler? Beet pate? Look again,
okay? Say we will sail again. Worth
the risk. No way we'll allow Alzheimer's
to lock us in. Now help me remember
where we hid the sunblock. Know
how easy you burn. Think!!
(c) Phyllis Jean Green, 01/08
ALL Rights Reserved
Angels That Care
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|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Meaningfully insightful verses, Pea. They sure do give me pause for thought. Thank you. Love and best wishes to you,
|Reviewed by Carole Mathys
|Captivating and heart touching glimpse of the sad results of Alzheimer's...I watched my mother with her struggle to remember
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|a very touching write--i love the simple real life and living images you paint-especially the homemade swim suit!|
|Reviewed by Joyce Bowling
|Touching write, powerful I might add...one never knows when their body will be attacked by disease, which seems to be running ramped across our land. I have a dear family friend who has alzheimer's disease, she is such a precious soul. I love to sit with her and allow her to walk down memory lane and talk of how she enjoyed teaching and the silly antics that myself and other classmates were involved in inside her classroom. She thrives on those years which seem like only yesterday to her...a powerful offering indeed. Captivating, thought provoking and well done!
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
|Holes in the memory burnt from one devastating strike - painful to read, (((Pea))), indeed. (((HUGS))) Such a terrible disease...I pray this isn't reality...but have a feeling it is. I'm so sorry. Let me know if you need anything.
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. *tears*
|Reviewed by R Beeman
|an interesting work. i think freedom when i read this. just peaceful being who you are within the realm of your own natual surroundings. i agree with Felix. lazy days of summer are some of the very best. makes me wish they were here now.
|Reviewed by Felix Perry
|I enjoyed this one and for some reasons I felt like summers at the cottage and lazy afternoons sipping beer. Love it.
|Reviewed by Nicky Goodman
|Gosh -i found this very moving indeed -.fractured, but what comes through isn't,it's priceless..spirit - of adventure, the whole story of independence and care - - the sunblock at the end is so loving - this is an amazing poem - works, how Alzheimer's is named only at the end, we are able to experience the disorientation and the will to make sense, reading the poem - really/not really works so well here! Before Lightening Strikes -the will/desire to Live and Love, and Make Meaning, comes through very strongly -Excellent poetry, brimming with emotion - super, Nicky xx|
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Your writings just keep gettin' better and better, Pea! I love how you write; you have your own style, and you write so danged well! If I could write half as good as you, I'd have it made in the shade! Another solid effort from your golden pen; I bow to your talents! BRAVA, Pea, BRAVA!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU
A profound message throughout the lines of "Before Lightning Strikes".
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
|Reviewed by Karen Palumbo
|Nicely done, very light and whimsical, yet with a nice twist interwoven....