Poems- Jeanie Greensfelder

The Trip    

I pack my suitcase,

each day adding more:

cloud blouses, sky skirts,

and a wind scarf carefully tucked

among pear trees and song sparrows.

  

Beside my daughter’s buoyant spirit and her tears,

I position my son’s pragmatism and heart.

I place Morning Man,

my rise and shine guy who adores me,

next to Evening Man who naps before bedtime.

I take Anne’s listening, Coco’s stories,

Joan’s laugh and Eve’s wonder.

At Costco, I toss in the little boy

sprawled on a couch,

and the old woman serving pita pieces.

And I’m in there at age four

bouncing on my parents’ bed,

at twelve finding I could flirt,

at nineteen holding my baby,

at thirty-four launching a forty-year marriage.

I see myself in the mirror,

study the me I’ve become,

then peel my reflection,

fold it, lay it on top,

and close the suitcase.

 

Sailing

From the deck of a cruise ship

leaving San Francisco, I gaze

at the Golden Gate Bridge, and try not

to imagine those who have jumped.

Wind pushes against me,

lets me know I’m going somewhere—

I wish I were wild, hopping a freighter

for the south seas and beyond.

While I long to be a pilot or a diver,

a climber or a surfer, or even a bartender

meeting and tending to travelers,

I’m grateful as I recall my journey:

What are you thankful for? a teacher asked.

Bubble gum and ice cream, I said.

I never knew I loved parents who called me in

when I wanted to play hide and seek till dawn.

At school I played jacks on the lunch table,

pig in a basket, putting pieces in my palm.

I never knew I loved the cafeteria line,

having hair-netted women fill my plate.

I never knew I loved bumblebees. Could one

love a bumblebee, the one that sat on

my belt buckle when I was alone in the yard

trying to be a statue, staring into its eyes?

I’m beyond feeling I didn’t belong in those

teen years when the world didn’t want me, and

left me in tears. Now, under the Golden Gate,

I feel for those who chose the bridge.

On this voyage, breathing sweet salt air,

I run with a butterfly net

catching and cataloging moments,

risking loving life to death.

 

What’s It Like To Be Old?

Don’t get me started! Why do you ask?

Am I defensive? Yes. Of course I want

to slide back, get a re-ride, slip into that

summer skin I failed to appreciate.

I’m still that girl, but no one knows and  

I’m stuck at restaurants with birds of my feather,

a misfit, flocked with a covey of old folks

while I imagine being with the youth nearby.

I didn’t join; I got drafted—hurled into

wrinkled wisdom, unscrewed, even screwy

with perspective and perception. Deliver me

from red hats and wearing purple. See me shop

the Banana Republic to flirt with dudes.

I’m not so old I don’t remember teenage pain:

being turned inside out by what others thought.

A pawn of my id, I craved attention and spent

those years in a playground of despair,

hope and disaster, love and loss.

As a teen, I saw thirty as curtains

and sixty as suicide time.

Do you really want to know what it’s like?

Well, so do I. I’m still learning at seventy.

Ninety is the new old age. I’m in my prime.

 

The Bang Theory   for Ginny

My sister calls it her Bang Theory:

people look the same day after day,

and then about every five years,

bang, they change. At age seventy,

she says the Popcorn Plan takes over:

little pops happen daily.

And this explains the stranger I see

in the mirror. Bang, pop, pop, pop—

she no longer reflects the me I know.

I look after her as best I can

since she masquerades around town

and pretends to be me.

 

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***Jeanie Greensfelder is the author of Biting the Apple (Penciled In, 2012), and Marriage and Other Leaps of Faith (Penciled In, 2015). Her poems have been published at Writer’s Almanac and  American Life in Poetry; in anthologies: Paris,Etc., Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems, and 30 Years of Corner of the Mouth; and in journals: Askew, Miramar, Orbis, Kaleidoscope, Riptide, Solo Novo, Falling Star, If&When and others. Poetry Awards: Lillian Dean and Spirit First. Her poems can be read at jeaniegreensfelder.com ***
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One Comment Add yours

  1. Patricia Sullivan says:

    oh Jeanie, so fun to find your poems here! I’m glad you submitted and I’m really lgad I helped spread the word on this site, let’s keep writing into our 90’s!!

    Liked by 1 person

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