Category Archives: hope

Tough Cookie–Ethel Polk

8/12/18

Tough Cookie

Last night at dinner,
animated and laughing, she said
her cheeks were swollen and red
with a sinus infection
the time she was supposed to
meet Billie Holiday.
And a guy, possibly a musician,
maybe a manager, in any case,
he had a remedy that involved
smoking something, which she did
and it made her nose run,
but Billie Holiday did not come.

This was after Ethel had fallen earlier
that evening, injuries unknown but stiffening,
after the folk concert to which we all had gone,
after the extra help to get out of the car,
the painful short walk to the table.

After the century of living,
working, remembering, loving, and losing,
picking up after each fall, healing,
continuing to live, to connect,
relishing food, red wine, people, music,
near blind, but the next day
having a guest for brunch.

After the congenial dinner at Shokran
one woman got her standing,
kept her from the broken glass,
two strong men helped her walk out,
carefully, no rush, to the waiting car at the curb,
one woman carried her bag,
one willing woman held the door,
another kind man drove the car.

“Why do so many people help me?”
she said she’d asked
and the answer came back:
“because they love you!”
And she’d replied, “Am I worthy?”
And I would say to that:
We are all worthy
we are all loved.

As you ask, it is answered,
whatever you’ve sent out
returns multiplied.
And…people like to help—
makes us feel less helpless.
Grace is not earned but given
freely to everyone
not just to Ethel at 101.
Who knows the purpose of a day,
every astonishing one
until our allotted time is run?

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2018

And the rest of the story: Ethel Polk ended up in the ER that night where they found she had broken her hip! She had surgery and recovered, continuing to live vibrantly.

Until yesterday, when she died at the hospital from several things, including COVID. She is already dearly missed.

Sun Through Orchid, Copyright 2013 M D Mikus

For Krista–In the guise of advice on gardening

Fall Datura, M D Mikus Copyright 2013

4/14/16

For Krista

In the guise of advice on gardening

Something hidden is percolating
bubbling away, fermenting, brewing.
Something is cocooning, gestating
shaping a future shoot to break through.

Right now it looks like nothing.
From the outside the process seems blank
the absence of anything.
But no, believe me I have seen

I have been in and come out of.
You are healing, releasing, absorbing
as the shift happens from then to now
to what is coming.

If you forgot to trust
remember now…to rest
in the arms of. To not fret
(what is the point…

as energy leaks out your feet).
Trust your patience will bear fruit.
It always has…and will now.
Actively wait for it…as you plant

what you want…and no more.
We trust you
to do what you need to.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2016

I have been writing a poetic journal for 25 years, following healing from multiple sclerosis. This poem (from April, 2016) feels right for today. And still good advice. Take good care. <3

 

This Big Thing

This Big Thing

If you knew how long
it would take to do
this big thing,
this vision,

you would never begin.

If you knew how much
energy at times,
how little sleep at times,
how many tiny details

would make up the whole,
what worries, what waiting,
what driving, what negotiation
what re-invention, what chaos

you would never begin.

You would not know how
the progress of day to day
could feed you,
awaken you, open doors for you,

let in light and space and room to breathe.
If you had not trusted,
if you did not understand clarity,
if you thought you were standing alone

you would never begin.

Or so it seems
about all the other times
big plans stalled,
and so it seems

looking back on the
peaceful revolution miracle of
allowing change to unfold,
even embracing.

From fearful to sure,
or sure enough
to take one step…
then another, not necessarily big leap.

Not to erase the past,
but creating the future, your future,
from the endless supply
of present moments.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2009

From Thrown Again into the Frazzle Machine: Poems of Grace, Hope and Healing

Here is my poem-video reading

And here is the original poem backstory

Take good care, dear ones. Breathe and breathe…

Still Time

10/27/20

Still Time

Inspired by an incredibly talented woman
(from Wei’s post)

Quietly watching
the light come back
into the world
In midst of these times
patient
if not trusting
willing to wait and see
before jumping headlong
into the dark uncertainty
Find some ground
plant feet firmly
You are that ground
for me
And you out there
are the ground for somebody

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2020

An offering from my poetic journal.

November Sunset, M D Mikus, Copyright 2018

Another Day

4/14/20

Another day
another news briefing
depending on who says
the weight of it all
heavy or heavier
in the daily fog
of uncertainty

I am choosing
and again and again
to mostly not listen
not in denial
head in the sand
but in determination
to not drown

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2020

Every day trying to find the balance between knowing enough, but not too much. Perhaps you too?