By Thomas Kellar

I tell her she's superstitious,
she fires back:
"you're a poor excuse for a skeptic."
She believes in miracles,
I believe
(given a long enough period of time)
everything turns to cinder.
She waits on grace,
I wait surprise announcements
from the Emergency Broadcasting System.

Last night
she was on the phone
more than an hour
in deep discussion
with a close friend.
I was on the couch
watching Kings
lose to Knicks on ESPN,
between baskets
catching fragments
of conversation,
six months...inoperable...
Saint Francis... Chemo...
complete surprise...Taxol... ...
Julian circle...prayer...
When she hung up
I went into the kitchen,
tried to look busy
constructing a chicken salad sandwich,

I didn't want to know.

This morning
over de-caf and English muffins
She announces:
next year
we're skipping the Honolulu trip.
She wants to spend the two weeks
hiking high desert,
experiencing what Thoreau called
The "tonic of wildness"
vast emptiness, long silence,
Via Negativa,
the search for illumination.
She asks me what I think.
I tell her
"all I want to find is triple A's
for the channel changer."

Later she breaks it to me,
Susan's father has lung cancer.
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Yes" she says.
We sit there
watching our neighbor
Through the kitchen window
wrestle with his garbage can.
Finally she asks me,
"Do you ever think about dying?"
"As little as possible."
"I wish I could be like you" she says
but she doesn't mean it
and secretly grateful,
I'm glad as hell
she's not.


Thomas Kellar was born 1955, in Ft. Worth Texas. Currently he lives in California's Sierra Nevada Foothills where he began writing poetry in 1998. He is married, has 2 sons, occasionally hears voices and has difficulty in remembering the sequence of past events. Tom enjoys discordant jazz, cheap cigars, professional basketball, and toasting the evening sunset from the sanctity of his wraparound porch.


Loss  | Vashon | Services | Art | Poetry | Store | Contact

© 1999 KotaPress All rights reserved.  ISSN 1534-1410
Please direct comments regarding this web site to