Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Breast Clinic

After a two hour wait

at the Elizabeth Wende

Breast Clinic, my name was

called, and I was directed to

a Results Room. “My name is

Naomi,” the young woman holding

my Results slip-of-paper informed me.

“Nice to meet you.” She then compliment-

ed my necklace and asked what the symbol

meant. “Clarity,” I said. “In what language?”

she asked me. “Japanese,” I replied - quickly.

“Can you confirm for me your date of birth?”

“Yes,” I said, (pausing ever-so-slightly so she

could give me a date to confirm. She did not

do that, of course). I informed her of my date

of birth, “April 16, 1948.” “You’re fine,” she

said, handing me the slip-of-paper, “We’ll

see you in one year.” Passing a woman I’d

been sitting with, I gave the “thumbs up”

sign, mouthed, “Good Luck!” as I walked

out. I inhaled the fresh air, as I left the

Clinic, saddened by the sight of giant

trees being felled, probably to make

room for an even larger parking lot.

I walked over to a new memorial:

Surrounded by freshly-planted

geraniums, covered with

mulch, stood a smooth

and perfectly round

three-foot tall rock,

embedded, with an

engraved plaque,

honoring Dr. Wende

Logun-Young’s 25

years in the breast

care business.

As I realized that rock

looked a lot like a breast,

I thought briefly, “Why not

two?” Then, swallowing the

lump in my throat, I thought

of all the one-breasted (and

breast-less) women –all of

the cancer survivors –

those female rocks,

grounded in the

earth of their forts,

subtly showing their

friends and daughters,

husbands and others -

how to get past the fear,

hurt, anger or confusion,

how to press on with their

lives and their dreams, how

to find balance, even in the

presence of great falling trees.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Memorial Day Rain Rant

The day dawns easy, overcast,

neither hot nor cold, barely

a breeze -- flawlessly.

Humidity sneaks

in, like a nest of

snakes. Again

this year, clouds

appear, about to

burst, but they don’t

or won’t – You want

to shake your fist at

the sky, and shout:

Just RAIN already –

get it over with!

One lousy day off

for folks from May

‘til the Fourth of July!

Chance of showers –

Thunder storms likely –-

Should we call-off

the picnic or not?

Just RAIN already!

RAIN for the cat, who

hides in the basement at

the first shift in barometric

pressure, stays ‘til it’s over.

RAIN to motivate basil

and tomatoes, planted

today in pots of clay

on the porch. RAIN

the dust off the cars;

we can not afford to

wash them anymore.

RAIN ‘til the trees shake

loose last year’s bird nests.

RAIN ‘til the playground

turns to a mosh pit, as

mothers call the kids home.

RAIN to ruin Memorial Day

weekend, like you always do!

RAIN to knock down the tents

and lean-to’s people are using

for shelters in broken parts

of the world. RAIN to wreak

havoc on the few remaining

items they might still own.

RAIN ‘til the ominous sky is so

black, no one can tell if it’s night

or the end of the world. RAIN ‘til

the worms crawl out of the ground,

groveling for mercy. RAIN ‘til Noah

returns: Noah, who was building his

arc, as everyone laughed — Noah who

gathered pairs of geese, horses, mice,

rabbits, monkeys, elephants and gnats,

as they boarded his floating wood raft.

RAIN ‘til the ocean’s salt is diluted,

and only our tears can keep it

in balance. RAIN ‘til the darkened

wet street obliterates all shadows.

RAIN ‘til a desert meets with a forest
and exchanges ideas.
RAIN ‘til the

names of the soldiers on all of the

tomb stones in all the grave yards

are completely washed clean.