aging in the year of dying

Pictured Poem created by Tremaine L. Loadholt

aging in the year of dying

the dog is going blind
to her, as I fade into the
darkness of our hallway, I’m
a blot–an image she isn’t
sure is me

she’s smart–she waits
in the living room where light
lingers and only moves
when she sees me re-emerge
from the belly of
our home

I step back into her view
with a smile on my face
and greet her as If I
haven’t seen her before

I know what it feels like
to see something clearly
again

Tina

A Haibun

Tina Turner, image from Smooth Radio

I have decided to give you your flowers while you’re still here. A wonder–a mystic amongst Gods and the ungodly. You have always been captivating. I never wanted to sing. I never wanted to dance. But I have always wanted to write, and you paved the way for me to have this voice–my voice in a world of chaotic flows and shiftless thoughts. You have conquered a sea of endless pain and lived to testify.

Millions of people sing your songs at the top of their lungs–breaths poured into the air that land at your feet. We still stand in awe of you; so incredibly in love with you, we speak your name . . . Tina.

Legends can be born
To be what legends should be
You are so much more


And now, one of my favorite Tina Turner songs.

Tina Turner, What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Threaded Chapters

I will miss her sunshiny presence, but I am happy she will have a new beginning

Photo by L.A Co. on Unsplash

My neighbor is moving. It appears I say that phrase now more than I care to. Since the rent has increased in my apartment complex for many of us by $115.00 to $250.00 (depending on the type of unit you are leasing), the choice to leave is easier than the choice to stay. Some have found their new homes in cities right outside ours — shifting from one county to the next.

They are doing this, from the outside looking in, without fear — without a pressing feeling to remain planted where they are — without wondering what they will do in the next town.

She lives (lived) across the breezeway — directly from my unit on the third floor. She is soft-spoken, sweet, and very much a talker. She cannot remember Jernee’s name, and oddly enough, I have not been able to remember hers. But I have “Yes, ma’amed” and “No ma’amed” her for nearly five years and I do not want her to move.

And this is a dilemma of mine — fear of change — of adjusting to the differences that lie ahead. My therapist says, “You just have to run straight through it, Tre. It may not be as bad as you think it will be.” And I know she’s right — I know she has seen more than I have — I pay her for her expertise and the connection we have built over the last three years.

Back to my neighbor. I will miss her sunshiny presence, but I am happy she will have a new beginning. She is excited about the move — about the city where she will be living. She found a place for senior citizens that will cost her $275.00 less than what she was paying at our apartment complex.

And as she told me this a couple of weeks ago to prepare me for the move, I couldn’t help but say, “Look at God. He found a place for you that isn’t too far, and is also less expensive.”

She smiled at me and said, “And He will do the same for you, too.”

And while I believe her, I both want to leave this place and I don’t want to leave this place, and if I do, the mountains are calling me — they are calling me home to them.


Everyone is moving, the community will not be the same

This scares me — what keeps me inside most days and away from new people who do not exchange “Hellos” and “How are yous?” They are too busy walking briskly to the mailbox or shoving themselves into their cars to recognize one’s presence. They have some business to attend to, and you are not it — you’re a blip in their time zone, a speck to be brushed away at the right moment.

You could pass out in the middle of the street, and the one thing they would probably focus on as important is the color of your shoes or, even worse; the color of your skin.

The people in my building talk — we share our workdays with each other, our experiences. The people across from us and next to our building — it is the same. We have built up our community and look out for one another, and with all the new people moving in, I see less of this, and it hurts me — hurts me truly to my core.

I foresee it being more of a selfish thing, as they fill the vacant units to the brim with people simply looking for a place to stay and not a place in which to live. (Let that sink in for a moment.)

We are losing our elders. We are losing the single mothers who look forward to you wrangling their kids along for them. We are losing men willing to shovel your hatchback compact vehicle out of your parking space after an overnight snowfall.

And I am not settling well with this at all. But I guess I will have to, and soon.


She’s not gone just yet, but she will be

She tells me she is paying rent at her current place and the new place because her lease is not up until January. The catch is, if she did not jump on signing the lease with the senior citizens’ spot, she was going to lose her unit there. Her sons can help her these last two months — they will help her.

I say, as pleasantly as I can, “I understand that. You had to get to it while the getting was good.” She smiles and shakes her head in agreement. She then tells me, “So, I’ll be back. You’ll see me coming in and out — cleaning up — getting the place in order. I’m not gone just yet.”

And a small piece of my heart releases the strain it automatically pressed upon me.

I always wonder who my next neighbor will be when someone moves. Will they be kind? Will they be considerate? Will they understand we live in an apartment building and not their own home with a backyard and all their customized trimmings?


We live in threaded chapters, turning the pages of each other’s books

When the day comes that she says her last goodbye, I want to have a housewarming gift for her — something she will look upon and remember me and Jernee. I am having a hard time figuring out what that should be, but I know I will select the right thing at the right time.

We live in threaded chapters — connected by time and space and community. Some of us are more apt to pick up each other’s books and turn the pages and learn something about each person as we move forward.

And as I look up from my laptop, I see another moving truck back in. Two people exit and then pull up the truck’s door. The bed of the truck is empty.

I think to myself, “Who is moving now” and I close my blinds and shake my head.

And just like that, I have another book to read.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

When Alanis Slapped Serena

Photo by Ana Bregantin on Pexels.com

I stared dumbfounded, thinking,
“Yo! Serena, I know you’re going
to react! React!”
But she didn’t, and I realized
she’s calculating, plotting,
and preparing her escape from
The Wheelers who are …
ironically just as she had been
as 1/2 The Waterfords.

I am not a lover of revenge,
I don’t think it’ll make things
better. I do, however, acknowledge
the need for human beings to
free themselves from shackles.

And when Serena crept slowly
through the door to make
her brave exit, something sinister
in me rejoiced, even though
I once wanted her demise
on a platter for a late
Friday night snack.


THMT Trailer that includes the Alanis Wheeler to Serena Waterford slap.

Out of Touch – Pandemic Haibun Challenge — Becoming Unstuck

Thanks to my dear friend, Tre, for hosting this challenge! Before the pandemic, I wasn’t aware that so many people would miss physical contact with others. How could I not have known something so obvious? By not having thought about it before. I have a bad tendency to scoff at people who are touchy-feely. The […]

Out of Touch – Pandemic Haibun Challenge — Becoming Unstuck

Many of you have seen my post here about the Pandemic Haibun Challenge that’s currently underway in my publication, A Cornered Gurl via Medium. Above is a response to it from a writer here in our WordPress community, Magarisa. Mags is a dear friend of mine; we don’t need to speak every single day or week or month, but we are linked to one another in a way that cannot be described. We always meet back up in the middle, and it’s a beautiful thing.

I follow her for the peace she possesses, her love of language and sharp imagery, and her ability to single-handedly murder a writing prompt.