Category Archives: hope

Read to the End–newly rediscovered poem

Forty-seven years ago May 25 fell on a Saturday (Memorial weekend) and Stephen and I got married at Queen of Peace Church. It was 3 weeks after my graduation from the University of Michigan and 1 week after his first year law school final exams. We were both 22 years old. We were so glad to be together we held onto each other and grinned through most of the ceremony. Even after this pandemic year, that is still true.

Here is a recently rediscovered poem from 21 years ago. When I read it to Stephen he didn’t remember the incident, but really liked the poem, so here it is.

6/29/00

Read to the End

Where can you be?
they are calling
desperate in their way
to find you

in the middle of negotiation
you walked away
stepped out…to where?
Is that when you called

me and left a message
“Talk to you at home”
two hours ago and
you are not home.

Where can you be
run off, run over
leaped off a bridge
into swift green water?

Wandering lost
down familiar, but faint
Chicago city streets?
Sudden flash of “must get out”

sudden loss of stamina
to keep on such a hard
“responsible” course
you set for yourself

thinking your sacrifice
was for us?
Where could you be—
come home to me—and talk

it through, like we always do.
Take this line I throw out to you
hold fast as I pull
you back to the safety of my arms.

**
And now the rest of the story:
You left for a meeting,
an estimate on hail damage,
and came home smiling after.

No danger, no need for worry
who knew? All that energy
wasted except to realize
once again how I love you.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2000

Recently rediscovered from my poetic journal

Cutting our wedding cake, 1974

Margaret and Stephen, Door County, WI

#poem #anniversary #love #poetry #lovepoetry

Later Looking Back

3/22/20

Later Looking Back

Good will come of this
you will see, not now but later
looking back after this crisis is over

While the old life is crumbling away
it feels like loss, and the unknown overwhelms
the usual complacency. But

at some point farther than this minute
the future is playing out in all its
various possible strands to weave

And as we choose, we create
we become aware, more or less
of the ongoing co-creative process

Some will settle in, take the pill back
to previous unconscious oblivion
but some will stay completely open

And that may be enough

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2020

From my poetic journal.

In This Time of Corona

Ignition by Margaret Dubay Mikus, Copyright 2008

5/31/20

In This Time of Corona

This virus doesn’t have a brain
it does not choose to do anything
cannot decide to attack human beings
It is small, minimal even
its simple components do not determine
its place in the scope of things

Is it even living?
there is debate about that
It doesn’t have a Soul as we would define it
but does have a tiny spark, an energy potential
Whether it comes or goes
survives or thrives depends
on factors outside its control

subject to the whims and whispers
actions and reactions of billions of humans
It will die down, mutate
go and come again
a means to an end
An opportunity for us
to learn more about

what it means to be human.

Margaret Dubay Mikus
© 2020

From my poetic journal. From this tiny virus what have we learned, if anything, about what it means to be human? About our inter-connection with each other? What about our relationship to nature? Thank you for traveling with me on this journey!

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