Perhaps it was my January birth
that bred me to adore a winter storm,
but I appreciate when rain hits earth,
and comfort means to me a haven warm
and cozy when it’s pouring cold outside.
Each autumn I look forward to the rain.
Though leaks and rising creeks pre-occupied
me now and then, I harbor water-brain.
I used to surge with anger in a drought.
I’d daily read the forecast and I’d rage
against high pressure, as I chilled without
the sound of water. Maybe it’s my age
of late, for though I mourn as we stay dry,
I’m weary of rebelling at blue sky.
Debate Club taught me more than how to speak.
I learned to argue points I don’t approve.
I got by doing what I didn’t seek:
the insight into how ideas can move
opponents, for as soon as I’d defend
them, I received immediate return.
I didn’t have to posture or pretend –
the argument I fashioned made me learn.
Since then I’ve started writing poems and prose,
and every time I try to postulate
the motives of my actors, I compose
a history that justifies the weight
of what ensued, and then my views expand,
exposing what I didn’t understand.
A tonsillectomy at 5 years old
resulted in a shape change, Mama said.
Till then I seemed to always have a cold,
but afterwards I gained and grew instead
a steady challenge with obesity,
forever adding girth instead of height.
Just don’t gain more, my mother said to me,
while introducing new-age foods made “lite.”
Of course that didn’t work. I suffered on
uncomfortable in clothes and self-disdain.
Eventually I learned how vast the con
was propagated, counterfeit as main-
stream is, but here’s the truth of my success –
I’m mostly thin because my mouth’s a mess.
My mother’s been impatient and abrupt
for all my life, task-driven to extremes.
My father harbored passions; he’d erupt
with wrath or indignation, but his dreams
and deeds were loving – he knew how to teach
instilling confidence, inviting thought.
My mother seldom looked beyond her reach,
and little valued things she hadn’t bought.
I have one tender memory of Mom
beside me silent while I suffered grief –
that evening how I treasured her support!
But recently she took it back – the bomb
she laid was wrongful recollection – brief
and cold she falsely told that old report.
I think I always had a closest friend
(surveying back to 1955),
but I don’t take to groups. I comprehend
plurality – communities can thrive –
but I don’t ever flourish in a crowd.
I find the girls too shrill, the boys too rough.
The voices jar – the volume is too loud,
and words are tossed like disregarded stuff.
I lack receptors to appreciate
the good in group dynamics, ecstasy
enhanced with others, harmonies of soul.
Consensus-building seems to generate
in me awareness of stupidity,
and simplified restrictions in control.
Low-carbohydrate baking is our game
on many Wednesdays. We try recipes
with proxy flours, sweets of quirky name
like Stevia and monkfruit. By degrees
we’re learning how to bake a better snack,
collecting psyllium, adjusting dose.
We’re old and young developing a knack
for softly substituting allulose.
My colleague is my baby’s toddler son,
a brilliant boy approaching 3 years old.
I never felt the boon of focused fun
till now, when he and I are teamed and bold.
If asked how we make cookies sweet, my small
companion grins, and chimes “erythritol!”
We’re visual, devoting near a third
of mental processing to what we see,
but I submit descriptors are absurd
that disregard our kind’s affinity
for narrative. We love our stories so,
we use them for religion, to explain
observed phenomena, to help us grow
a memory we’d have our head retain.
The best instruction’s given in a tale;
we understand, regardless of our state.
Attending nearly none of us will fail
to guess what narrative would motivate
the characters. As story lights our eyes,
so telling is a means to empathize.