Tangled Tears

Tangled Tears

                         I’m close to the ground

pulling weeds beneath our tree

the breeze ruffles my hair

while I listen for my chimes to sing their ring

There is silence. I lift my gaze to see

metal tubes tangled with branches

Winds have wrestled the bells to stillness

                        Like the lady I met days ago

who blotted her eyes often as she told me her story 

Life came at her hard for many years

She took no time to cry

and she forgot the how of tears

replaced them with sleepless nights 

trapped in a medley of fears  

                           Like my chimes, she isn’t singing  

With quiet attention,

I lift my rake’s long handle

and free the chimes to ring again

praying all the while, my struggling friend 

will untangle her tears

and claim the peace she longs for

Please God, help her find her song                                                         

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Release to others
the image of your face
you can never see it
on your own
Mirrors and camera lenses
distort the truth

Choose instead, reflections
from a still blue pond
to paint your best likeness
when the wind
~~~~~~~ ripples up
~~~an odd and puzzling portrait
of the beauty~~~~~
~~~~~~you are searching for

© Jean E. Taddonio

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The Bagel Pair

Bagel Shop Pair
The bustle of the bagel shop continues but is sweeter now with their quiet arrival.
One leads the other, with a firm grip of the hand. Both are nearly the same age, in their 60’s.
They have the same gentle stature. However, the one being led has Down’s Syndrome.
“George, would you like orange juice or chocolate milk?” George’s reply is only understood
by the one who loves…chocolate is chosen. They sit in silence, each content.
The man leading, reads the paper and looks up occasionally to assure George’s comfort:
wipes his chin, adjusts the straw. A trip to the bathroom is in order. I marvel at the patience,
the kindness of the one who cares: week after week, day after day…for how long? I wonder.
“Excuse me,” I say, “My name is Jeane. I see you here every week and would love to hear your
story if you care to share.”
“Of course! My name is Pat and this is George. We were neighbors long ago and before
George’s parents died, my wife Patty and I, offered to become his guardians for as long as we
all lived.” He smiles at George. ”George has been with us now for sixteen years. We are his people.”
I take Pat’s hand, squeeze it and George’s too and now I too am one of their people. Each time I
see George, I leave him with something like a piece of fruit or a kiss on the cheek. When I kiss
him, his face gets all squinty and smiley. Pat teaches him my name and I can understand
George’s repetition though it takes him a while. One day though… George struggled to
speak: “George do you remember her name? Tell me her name George.”
He made several efforts: suh…suh …sh sh sh…and then it happened…He got all smiley again
and said it out loud, “Sunshine! “
I’m now one of George’s people. Jean E. Taddonio

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In the Presence of Rain

Within arms distance
glassy sheen gleams
on top of my weeds
from some distant sea
translucent with joy
like a child’s eyes
after rain
when puddles beckon
come play
and the grass glows
emerald green
Perhaps I’m in Ireland
Instead of right here
able to touch
these fresh-water pearls
and air washed clean
creating space
for breathing dreams
of faraway places
in the presence of rain

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Sunny Silence

“The secret to joy: never suppress positive curiosity ;
Get involved, because life is meant to be lived.” Pope Francis

I step into the Walmart super-store and see them right away.
“WOW,” I say out loud, with no one near enough to hear.
Where is someone to share my awe?

These sunny orbs are the size of small volleyballs.
I’ve never seen them so big before. I have to pick one up and sniff.
The sweet and sour smell of citus greets me…and yellow, very yellow.

Maybe even worth the $2.50 each.
A young man watches me from about 20 yards away.
He wears a produce apron. Our eyes meet.

“Wow, these are HUGE,” I say out loud.
He squints, puts a hand to his ear and walks closer.
“I’ve never seen grapefruit this large before!” I exclaim.

Now both of his hands cover his ears and he shakes his head… I understand.
I repeat myself while looking at him directly, forming my words carefully.
“Expensive!” He says, in the muffled way the born-in-silence speak.

Shrugging, I nod and say, “Happy New Year!”
He beams, a smile bigger and brighter than these amazing fruits.
Then he signs to me from his heart while saying, “Happy New Year!”

I can’t stop smiling.

p.s. My husband informs me later that the fruit was most likely ‘pumelo’…
doesn’t matter

Jean E. Taddonio

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See More

In the broken place
where we live,
hope can be found
in the cracks

If a dandelion
can push herself
up from the earth

though a sliver of light
in cement
and be called a weed

—or a flower
by those who see more
surely, we too can bloom

in our brokenness
where we live
and see more

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Chapel Confession

Chapel Confession
I can hear the clamoring of whoever entered the chapel behind me, after I’ve settled in and seeking my silence.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see part of a walker, the source of interruption to my false piety I’m annoyed by the noise.
I choose not to turn around and offer assistance, but remain in my self-righteous angst.
And now, with her hand and a scarred cane (what a cane too?), she grips the wooden-framed kneeler next to me and with a squeaky plop, falls onto the worn out upholstered seat.
I awaken to my better self, and turn to her with a smile, the one I could have given her minutes ago. “Made it! “ I say.
“Made it,” she replies with a tired smile. We both laugh, quietly of course.
After all, we are in the chapel. Jean E. Taddonio

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