Ways of Looking with Susan Ahlbrand
Ten Ways of Looking at Time
When it began
My childhood prayer
growing up in a
“Thief in the Night” church:
Jesus, please don’t return
until I grow up and
get to have my own family.
When it’s focused
Softball practice in the park,
softball games every Saturday
and one evening a week,
playing catch in the street until even
the streetlights didn’t make it
safe enough to continue.
Ironing, (yes ironing!) my
Bobby Sox Softball uniform,
getting it ready for tomorrow.
Begging someone to play catch again.
When it’s squandered
We never found the time
to sit together regularly and
talk about faith and life
and the Bible
like we always planned to.
Now those high school years are gone.
When it’s lingering
That falling asleep time being held in your arms
after we make love is the best sleep of all.
When it’s not enough
Saying goodbye to my Mom in 2010,
a brother in 2012, a sister
and sister-in-law in 2018. No
more “see you laters.”
When it’s unsettled
Covid-19 in 2020, 2021? 2022?
What does the future hold?
When it ends
Will I be ready?
Do I choose or am I chosen by reading?
Sometimes I am lifted out of myself, with a stab
To my heart. Unexpected riches that grieve.
Riches that turn into empathy as I grieve
The axe for the frozen sea within is my reading
As Kafka wisely said books are to stab
Not to make me happy, but to stab.
Books to affect me, allow me to deeply grieve
It is not for the faint of heart, this reading.
Quick pain of the stab and subsequent grief comes from reading.
Take a Word for a Walk with Anna J. Small Roseboro
Is Hope a winged bird perched
Or flying? Hope who owns nothing–
Makes room for Hope, love, grace–
She’s able to soar, Hope filling
the heavens. God, please more Hope
Allusion with Anna J. Small Roseboro
What a year
Vote them out
Make it a rout
He sees us
Swamped boats fill
“Peace, be still”
Calms the storm
He frees us…
“Don’t fear the deep
I’m not asleep”
Bodies in Motion with Sarah Donovan
Each of us scrambles to borrow a bicycle. Not that many years
Ago I would hop on my own bike and pedal to the start
Of the Go Pink ride. I am in a new time and place, though, so I
Sorry, there’s only one gear that works, my friend tells me.
We ram the old broken thing in my van and drive it
It needs a new seat, says my husband. Ride it down
The street to the shop on the corner, and we’ll see if he has one. He
Walks along, I ride. The crank arm breaks
On the two-block ride.
Two, three or three-and-a-half for the saddle;
Five for the gear shifters, ten for the crank, five for the
Derailleur. Why not take
A new one? Only 45 BD, the shop keeper says.
OK, says my husband.
This one is foldable, good for the car, the little man says, as we
Wheel it out of the shop. Back home,
We put it in our car. I set my alarm for
4:00 a.m. The alarm goes off, I stumble and
Pull on my pink tee-shirt backwards, extra wide shoes to
Alleviate pain from Morton’s neuroma, eat a banana and drive
To the Cycling Bees shop. Bahrain
is flat, the trip is ten
Kilometers, the seat is wide and cushy, my borrowed helmet is too big. I
manage to finish, in all my out-of-shape glory, at the end of the pack.
Thoughts of coronavirus
Haunt me as we talk, sometimes too close–them without
Masks. This is the first bicycle ride of my
Sixties. I remember rides in my
Twenties a bit differently. I devour
Huge plates of pasta at the campsite in Half Moon Bay,
Gorge on ice cream in Monterey—so much more gratifying
to fuel up on a bicycle than in a
Fossil-fueled vehicle. We pedal up
Hills, race down, and try to avoid semis through Big Sur,
80 to 100 miles a day. We do it all
Again the next day.
That was fun! The Cycling Bees have another ride next
week, how about it? The route looks charming, my friend says.
Nah, I’m OK.