Saturday, May 27, 2017

Freyda's Poem

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

She was walking along the country road,
plodding with sullen eyes that, upon my
arrival, lifted, somewhat, and asked:

“Is this more pain coming?”

And, daringly:

“Could it be hope?”

My open palm offered her the kibble
that I keep on hand, in a jar in the truck,
for just these moments. They are often
enough. She took it into her jutting ribs,
and then went for the pile I put on the
passenger seat. That was my hope.

That’s how our story started.


There’s some part of me that understands
the texture of abandonment better than
most things. I could tell you stories, but
I can’t explain it to you. It’s one of those
tangible mysteries that defines us.

We are the legacy of the dispossessed.

What makes a being disposable?

I wonder about this when I pick a dog up
on a winding country road, although, sometimes,
it is a cat, or several. And, too, there are the
men with cardboard signs on the street corners,
all having written imploring words with a thick
black sharpie.

Once, it was two young women. We talked.
They had abandoned themselves. They said:

“It is less painful this way.”


Rumi wrote to his beloved that:

I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come ‘round the corner.

And, then went on to add:

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper

What is the opposite of abandonment?

Is it this?


I decided to call her, Freyda.

It means, joy.


I think:

If we want to know joy,
we can find our way home.

Anyway, that’s my hope.

©2017-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

I'll Trade Places with You

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The blind man entered the metro car.

“Are there any empty seats?”

“No,” said the man sitting next to me,
in front of the sign that reads:

Priority Seating. Federal Law Requires
that These Seats Be Available to
Passengers with Disabilities and to
the Elderly.

Quizzically, again,

“There are no empty seats?”

“No. There aren’t any empty seats.”

He didn’t even glance up from his phone.
Didn’t look him in the eye.

Arising from my seat, the words came,

“Here. I’ll trade places with you. A little
to the left. Okay. There.”

I’ll trade places with you.

I stood, gripping the metal post, my
sight coming to rest on the clearance badge
around the neck of the face-to-phone

Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Affairs?


I couldn’t work my way to anger,
couldn’t get to a place where I could
speak my mind,

grief for this world arose so thick,
it was disabling.

I’ll trade places with you.

When did they stop teaching kids the
game in which they try to walk in
each other’s shoes?

I remember it. I had the biggest feet.


I don’t know where we are going.

There’s a part of me that wants to get off.

But, I am still standing here, holding on.


The blind man wouldn’t give up his seat.

© 2017-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty" (a work in progress)
To be published by Talking Waters Press

Feel free to share