My skin, no longer youthful,
Glows and shimmers from the life we share.

My eyes sparkle with laughter,
Our language of love.

My hair, better behaved, all growed up
Older now. Wiser.

My heart hums, oh how content. It revels in you,
I bask in your adoration.

My mind — such mess! — grows ever thankful
You inhabit my life.

You make me feel beautiful.
Therefore, it must be so.

Today marks my fifth year of blogging on the WordPress platform. I still recall the hesitation – and anxiety – I felt when I first started to toy with the idea of creating a blog.

What would I write about? Did I have anything to say? If I threw this party, would anyone come?

While I’ve grown my reader base over the years, my numbers and stats are hardly phenomenal. But that doesn’t matter to me in the least. I’ve met some wonderfully talented and witty folks along the way and discovered incredible artists, writers, poets and photographers from all over the world. For me, that is reward enough.

Thank you to all who follow A Sawyer’s Daughter, who comment and like and continue to inspire me every time I open my Reader to see what others are up to.

Here are some of my favorite posts from the past year. As always, THANK YOU for looking!!

Shy skeletons never cross
busy highways come midnight
with the prospect of corn mush
for breakfast,
soft-boiled eggs
neatly tucked inside
crisp linen napkins,
finely pressed
with razor-thin creases —
no kitchen messes,
no slop to mop up,
no vittles to fetch
or firewood to stack
in the far reaches
of bitter cold corners
of widowed shelters
run haphazard
and crosswise
every blasted December.

Eerie lights
shine in
many a mysterious
regardless of your philosophy
or take on life.

And that’s a fact.

These Boots Are Made for Walking
Mom’s torn bloody blue dress
Quentin Collins: Dad asks Are you in love?

German chocolate cake
Catechism and First Communion
Fingers pointed skyward in prayer

Upstairs closets
Hidden treasures
Games children play

McCulloch chain saw’s whine
Dad’s big blade, its morning growl
How he made his living

Sizzle and stink
Wet woolen mittens
Rusted red-hot furnace drum

Blizzard revelries
Snow tunnels in howling darkness
Snapshots of forgotten strangers, stranded for the night

Rats in the brooder house
Gutted Brown Swiss
Suspended in air, the winch from Dad’s boom truck

Sponge for adult gossip
Me, glued to the kitchen table
Women whirling drinks, inhaling their cigarettes

Who I was
where I came from
what I might have become

I want to immerse myself
in your kind of ugly,
to understand the impulses
driving your cruelty,
your indifference.

Internet access not available
so I avail myself
of an ancient set of Funk & Wagnalls,
dust covered volumes stored away
in the forgotten bowels
of an old stereo cabinet,
their chocolate brown bindings
cracked and faded, pages
yellowed, musty and fragile — like me.

There’s less of me now
than there once was,
driven to endless apologies
for caring gestures
that others might relish.

Saying I’m sorry
for getting too close,
for wanting you near,
for snuggling against your lithe, warm body.

I’m sickened by my need.

If only I could examine your motives,
unlock the hurt that nurses your pain,
expose the wounds you hide so well.
Dry your tears,
soothe your sorrows.
Urge you toward redemption.

I begin to explore. I flip the pages.
Your psyche here somewhere
in black and white…

In spite of those who say you’re no good,
that I deserve better,
that I should leave you —
I look for answers
to keep hope alive in my heart,
my heavy, heavy heart.

Left you at the club
on a short leash
with only a ten-spot
and an Uber gift card
to find your way home

If you’re still interested, that is.

That cheeky blonde giving you the scent-eye,
the one doing a few lines in the Ladies,
she’ll learn soon enough what you’re made of.

Maybe then you’ll realize
I’m not the controlling bitch
everybody thinks I am.

Bumble bee circles round my head.
Coco tries to engage,
wants to play.

Careful, my curious friend!

Plump fuzzy fella burrows deep,
inhales magenta pansy treasure.
Its furry bristled legs
coated with pollen,
Old Yeller zooms off.
Other floral banquets
entice and allure.

Puppy and I sidestep Stingapalooza.

Red-winged blackbird,
perched above me
on slender telephone wire.
Is that your trilling ring I hear
or a patron call for take-out Chinese?

In memoriam, Richard Allen Clark, August 20, 1929 – April 9th, 2007

Twelve years ago, today’s early morn,
I watched my father die.
An eerie, unsettling event,
an occasion so far removed
from this daughter’s typical realm,
jet-black, deep-set shadows surround its memory,
a bereavement-fog in slow motion.

Together, we waited.
We watched over him
lying there
on that hospice bed,
an awkward encumbrance
taking up space in my childhood living room.

Unsure as to how death would feel,
how it would touch us,
what its impact would be
once it arrived.
We knew it was imminent
yet impossible to fathom.

The night that led us to his passing,
so dark and long and difficult
and yet bittersweet.
Moments of shared grief,
both lovely and frightening,
for they could not
have been known to us
but we welcomed them still.

What else could we do?

I have no words
for any of it.

How to convey the panic
of having nodded off
at his bedside
terrified we’d missed his passing?

How to describe
the bizarre moment
his false teeth fell
away from his clenched jaws,
the hospice nurse’s regret
she’d not removed them in advance?

How might I tell you
of that exquisite moment
of his last gasp
and the unexpected shock
of that long, slow, final exhalation?

How can I explain
what it’s like to see
the undertaker
zip up my Daddy
in a black, glossy, human trash bag?

Or the anticipated horror
they might slip
on the icy steps
as they carried my father
to the hearse that awaited his body?

Can I ever give voice
to the utter exhaustion,
the new reality
that followed
the pale light
of that early dawn
of his demise —
the surreal relief,
the staggering numbness,
the foreign alteration,
the changed dynamic
of our family forever after?

I don’t know that I can
or even that I should.