Even with a personality of its own, my Saugus River is hard-pressed to be itself… so many things have happened to it, on it, with it, because of it. Did I dream all these scattered events, these small terrors? Perhaps. I was dreamy as a boy, romantic as a young man, possessed now. Possessed.Continue reading “Hard-pressed My River Is by Tom Sheehan”
This appointment came when light tired, this arrangement, this syzygy of him and me and the still threat of a small red star standing some time away at my back, deeper than a grain of memory. I am a quarter mile from him, hard upward on this rugged rock he could look up to if only his eyes would agree once more, and it’s a trillion years behind my head or a parsec I can’t begin to imagine, they tell me even dead perhaps, that star. Can this be a true syzygy if one is dead, if one is leaning to leave this line of sight regardless of age or love or density or how the last piece of light might be reflected, or refused, if one leaves this imposition? The windows of his room defer no light to this night, for it is always night there, blood and chemicals at warfare, nerve gone, the main one providing mirror and lethal lens, back of the eyeball no different than out front, but I climb this rock to line up with another rock and him in the deep seizure of that stolen room, bare sepulcher, that grotto of mind.Continue reading “From an Appalachian Peak, a Small Red Star for Me and My Father by Tom Sheehan”
Lee and Harry stood outside their manager’s office. She glowered at them. The music from the communal room was deafening.
“Jesus fuck! Am I not in enough trouble? That’s all I need, Tom and his Gary Glitter infatuation!”
“Guess who’s sitting in front of me right now?”
My wife Beth was calling from work, from the nursing home where she’s been a hospice nurse and head of an Alzheimer’s ward for a number of years. She is without doubt the most compassionate woman I have ever known. While the dignity of patients come first with her and as much pain-free existence as she can possibly imagine for them, coming towards the end in most cases, she can nevertheless get rocked by hard associations. It is her curse in life, but, of all the women I have met, she is best equipped for this task.
Cheryl picks me up at the corner of Queen and Duke on Saturdays at three. It just makes sense, she said not long after we met. I’m going right by there anyway. It was my bus stop to Freeport, only now I lean out of the Plexiglas shelter and give a little wave, so the bus doesn’t stop. Today he pulls in to drop someone off. My face is red. It’s stupid how ashamed I feel about that dismissive wave.
I’m driving west into the setting sun on streets I’ve known for over 50 years in a car I bought brand new seven years ago. I’ve been driving for fifty-eight of my seventy-three years.