Sunday, July 19, 2009

Women Like Me

I'll never have a friendship like hers again.
There will be a hole in the fabric of my tattered being.
How many holes in this moth eaten looking creature before it turns
To dust, I could be seen as the ghost of the world's oldest pregnant
Woman. That's how little I seem to care about perception,
and yet,
A Pucci top, navy handkerchief-linen wide-legged
Weightless pants, so wrinkled they looked slept in.
They were.
The pedicure is way past over, and terribly overdue,
Red tatters.
I must have cared once.
Who will care or notice now?

Lonely old women are invisible.
There was once a word for women like me
I think it might be offensive,
(If you are a woman like me.)
It's only when I walk my little dog that I'm seen.
Then people think "cute dog", and
"great, she's got a poop bag."

© 2010 Peggy Pendleton

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Time of Illness

I had two days off. No schedule for radiation, but
The tests for clotting factor went on as usual
Without me. I rested like a long distance runner
My drug fueled system humming along as if I ran
On chemicals alone. Did you know that Warfarin is
Rat poison? This is proof to Z that all medicine is poison
To me it means that someone found a really good use for
Rat poison. I take twice as much Warfarin as Z to keep me
From blowing a gasket, to keep my heart humming along
Like a clock that runs a bit too fast, but steady as she goes.
The bruises that cover my arms and legs don't bother me at all.

Z hemorrhaged again last night but refused to go to the hospital.
She determines that she just needs to cut back on the Warfarin
I ask her why and she says, "What can they do? All they can do is
Give me a transfusion." I wonder why that is such a bad idea. I want
Oxygen. I want oxygen rich blood. I think they might give her Oxygen
But keep my mouth shut. I took her fresh peach cobbler hot from the oven
Vanilla ice cream. She eats it as if she were a starving child and I choke back
The truth that the peaches were purchased at the grocery store and were only
99 cents a pound. I make up a perfectly plausible story about my neighbors friend
Drew who grows peaches in Southern Utah for peach brandy. He always has too many
Brings a bushel basket for the neighbor who passes plenty to me for fresh peach cobbler
Thankfully she doesn't ask about the ice cream. It is Bryer's All Natural, Natural vanilla
She eats it like a starving child. I took certified organic red potato soup, organic milk,
Watermelon cut into bite sized pieces and chilled. I know from having spent a lot of time
With Z that she does not get enough fluids to stay well hydrated. I liked the idea that when
She was in the hospital they pumped fluids into her veins. She says it made her swell. Well,
Yes, when the tissue is hydrated it plumps with pulsing life.

I'm a woman who takes a handful of pills every morning with her first mug of latte.
I don't do a lot of research on the drugs I take or study inserts for dire
Side effects.
Life has some nasty side effects. Life can kill you.
Don't we start dying from the moment we're born?
I took so many risks, still do, daring death to take me
Like a lover, who sees an opportunity when I sleep
I should be so lucky

So, the schedule is set for this week. Radiation every day
Clotting factor and food are on Z's agenda and mine
If all her radiation treatments are in the afternoon
I can take her, park the car and wait with a book
Patiently. I hope I live up to her expectations
I hope I don't disappoint her. Today it was peach
Cobbler and vanilla ice cream, tomorrow begins
The hard part, now that the tumor is bleeding
She's no longer just getting rid of the blood clots
In her lungs. Now the tumor is bleeding. Isn't that
A bad thing? I try not to show my extreme distress
I come home and take a handful of pills with my
Evening cup of Earl Grey Tea and smoke half a dozen
cigarettes. I resolve to keep on doing what I'm doing
As if it will protect me from her loss. What are the odds?

©2010 Peggy Pendleton

Monday, July 6, 2009

Death Is An Inconsiderate Lover

It all results in tears
One kind word, one instance of incompetence
That receptionist, anyones disappointment
Spoken, written, imagined, remembered
I can't make my friend
Do the things I think
Will save her life

I must not show my complete disappointment
I'm not sure I can live without her
Last night the tree removal guy called

Words make me cry, like the word deadline
The tree guys were an hour late today and I was
Screaming by the time they got here
Only one hour late for tradesmen
That's not bad, yet I feel responsible
I could not take her
Feed her what she what wanted
She wants so little in the larger scheme of things

She wants the food she wants from the store she wants
Is that so hard? The tree guys were only an hour late
They worked fast and efficiently without damaging my roof
Or fence and their competence makes me cry
My sense of guilt makes me cry.
Why must I always be guilty?
Never quite good enough. Is it like my mother said?

I offered them fresh cold watermelon cut in bite sized pieces
Cold cokes and water and their thirst made me cry
In seconds the watermelon was gone and I feel so sorry
That they don't get better treatment from women like me
And why do I assume that?

This is disappointment mixed with a dash of terror
It should be me. I'd decline all but hospice care
Not because of cost or debt or obligation or estate
Is it because I've chased you death like a needy lover?
So now you strike my innocent friend. Is that how we play
This final game of longing and regret? Does it all end in disappointment?