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Ruth Z. Deming
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Orionid Meteor Showers

 

by Ruth Z. Deming

 

 

Heaven!

I need to see you tonight

and walk the sidewalk

in my new flannel pajamas

billions of years have passed

since the making of these

one-of-a-kind flannels I bought

at a yard sale down the street

 

O black night

I kick aside the golden leaves

and acorns as I walk

night is not the companion of the day

it is a whole new planet where

wondrous things occur

 

Look!

A star is losing her balance

see her tumbling with terrible speed?

slipping through the firmament

a beauty still, but dying of old age

so sorry to see you go

but so graceful

alone, with no one to help her

as she flies like Margot Fonteyn

into the valley of the lost.

 

How many others are watching

this grand stage play?

Never do I feel so lonely or wonder about

the meaning of life where a new pinot noir

has defined my week with joy.

 

Star-watching!

acorn-collecting

most wondrous of all

when will I join the Orionid meteor showers

and slip into the valley of the lost?

Or am I already there?





THE POTBELLIES STORM THE JENKINTOWN IHOP

 

by Ruth Z. Deming

 

All across the nation

the International House

of Pancakes opens its

loving blue arms

a shelter from

the dark chilly

night

so brightly lit

we blink our eyes

as Brittanie leads

us to our seats

 

The endless pot

of coffee is brought

out and I fill myself

up with the soothing

hot liquid I dream of

every time I pass

a Dunkin or a Starbucks

 

Does the coffee have any

flavor? Nope, but

it sure looks good in the

white IHOP mug

 

My potbelly could hold

a two-month-old baby

were my nubility not a

thing of the past

 

My friends

Harriet—Karen—Christopher

Brett and Elissa have

smaller bellies than mine and

order up!

 

Suddenly we are transported

to the African desert where

Mount Kilimanjaro soars

in the distance. Inside our

flapping tents, Brittanie and

a young Ernest Hemingway

with mustache and piercing

black eyes all women dream of

march in with our order

blueberry pancakes with a

side dish of applesauce and cinnamon

French toast with banana and

strawberries,

“A favorite of mine,” says Papa

as Brittanie nods.

 

For Karen, both pancakes,

Eggs, and hash browns

Christopher dives into the

piles of whipped cream

“My second wife Pauline

ate too much whipped cream,”

laughed Papa, “but by then I had

fallen for Martha.”

 

The only potbelly who did not

drown herself in pancakes

was Harriet, not Tubman,

leader of the slave revolt,

but Harriet, president of

our Flat Tummy Club

 

Elissa has a cat to come home to

Brett a dad

Christopher a madhouse

Harriet a Steve

Papa a shotgun

Karen a hubby

Abrams a bicycle

Deming a red couch

 

Where she dreams of an eternity

sipping hot coffee

and eating reams and reams

of whipped cream on

chocolate chip pancakes

her potbelly

melting away.





IN THE CHAIR

 

by Ruth Z. Deming

 

 

 

Inquisitive tongue had found a crater deep

she’d noticed the silver filling had vanished

can you imagine the punishment

every day: chew chew chew?

 

A Beverly Hills lounge chair

without the gin and tonic

and clinking ice

is the operating theater

all I can see is the bottom

of my white pants and pink toenails.

 

Dr. Joe steers my open mouth

with his blue surgical gloves

cotton wads are stuffed in places

where recalcitrant psych patients

hide pills they refuse to take.

 

The noise begins

the siren-like whine and spit of the drill

that finally gives way to

the sweet soft sound of the sandblaster.  

 

Now a pungent smell:

a metallic concoction is tipped

via needle into the crater

they order my tongue out of the way

I hold it aloft like a tennis trophy

 

Finally— tap tap tap—

do you remember this?

for biting perfection

I am already dreaming of my exit

ordering decaf on ice at the Starbucks

I’ll have the big one, I say, and sip it

in the car

where inquisitive tongue

makes a discovery:

a rough patch over the saved tooth

a beautiful painting

marred by a crazed painting splasher.    

 

 

 

Ruth Z. Deming has had her poetry published in lit mags including Mad Swirl, River Poets, Ray's Road Review, and Eunoia Review.

 

A psychotherapist and mental health advocate, she runs New Directions Support Group for people and families affected by depression and bipolar disorder.

 

She lives in Willow Grove, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.




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