Piano

My aunt’s piano
Rests reminding
Of notes
Played beautifully
Up until she left us

I don’t play
The songs she did
I miss them

And then coming home
I heard some long ago
Songs, played by mom
Scores in books
With girlhood signatures

Sweet memory

©Catherine M. Harris, 2004

Only Time Will Tell

20200410_070403

The house is still warm
From last night’s fire
Good Friday snow
Lies on the ground
The world is a hush
Cloaking frustration
And fear
We are all lonely
Together tonight.

Church services
Broadcast on t.v.
Streaming messages
From various
Leaders guaranteed
And as much as we
Venerate one
Dead man’s rising
Such glorious things
Aren’t for you and me.

We remain human
Celebrating
That there is still
Chocolate and coffee
Television and beer
Animals to pet and
Children to remind us
There is a tomorrow.

All of us can grow
If not in body
Then in mind
Appreciation I hope
Is something we learn
Better at the end of these
Very long days
In this time of

Silence and
Stillness and
Learning to feel
Whole in the
Time of contagion
A little bit
Free in this
Time of containment
The Universe’s
Giant Easter Egg on
Our sorry souls.

When we emerge
From the ashes to
Open the door
Will there be
Kindness
Thankfulness
Joy?

Only time
Will tell.

©Catherine M. Harris, 10-April-2020

I Love You

I love you.
Say what you will about me
I love you.
Say what you think is my truth
I still love you.
Tell me things that aren’t true
And it’s all about me
Yes, I love you.

Nobody knows anyone completely
That’s not possible.
It’s easy, oh so easy
To take what people say or think
Or to twist things known and surmised
Into something else and apply them.
I love you.

Tell me you won’t be my:
Mother
Father
Sister
Son
Daughter
Lover
Coworker
Friend
Acquaintance
Stranger
Because of whatever you think
You know about me or
How I think
Okay.

I don’t understand,
But okay.
I love you.

Everything I do for anyone
I do for their best interest
Understanding that:
I have a family
I have a life
I have dreams
And most importantly
What goes on behind closed doors
Are privy only to those that are there.

You may think I’m a fool
Or selfish or crazy or weak
Whatever.
I love you.

Cut me off
Force me to cut you off
From unkind words and actions
Okay, I understand.
I may not like it,
But I understand.
Still, I love you.

And that’s all
You need to know.

Catherine M. Harris © February 2018

Children of the Snow

New Brunswick New Years week
Snow falling hurricane style
Nor’easter they say – it’s just
White and swirling and
The flames on the log in the
Woodstove dance to the
Music of Leonard Cohen playing
In surround-sound from a
Tribute concert and I’m alright
Now.

Thoughts of when I first heard
These words come back in
Snap shot glimpses of my children
My daughter holding a snow globe
Up to the falling snow and wishing
Her grandpa could come home
Angels in the snow
Ice skates on a polished
Mississauga rink.

Son on skis up and down a
Pakenham hill flying free
In goggles and bundled against
The cold and snowshoes on
Trekking to the ice caves where
A small troupe of Cubs and
Tic Tac and I curled up in
Sleeping bags while the ground
Shook from an earthquake
That we survived cold and wet in
Parc Lafleche Quebec.

Seems I blinked and suddenly
I’m in my 50s boldly going
Forward on my own and
Those days seem so long ago
And just like yesterday
So for now I treasure
Those small moments
Warm percolating
Back through time
Each of us in our grown up
Far flung spots in Canada
We
Children of the Snow.

©January 4, 2018 Catherine M. Harris
All rights reserved.

#MeToo – A Poem

Hidden memories, buried darkly
Best not to ponder over, just move on
That’s what I grew up with.

Little girl me who said she was a tomboy
Two unknown young men
Attempted something to a friend and I
We were six or so.
They didn’t really get to try
What I think they wanted
Before we got away
But I saw enough to know:
This is dangerous.

Later on, modelling was my thing
Dreaming of acting, it all went well
Until I was told I’d have to be nice
To clients so I asked what that meant
I was told it was do what they want.
Thanks but no thanks said I and
That was the end of the modelling career.

Buses have been places
To stand on guard
From hands on my bum to
A hand on my thigh
Not a nice way to go home at
The end of the day.

One going home meant
Being followed by a stranger
From the elevator –
I ran and got in the door
But he kept trying to break in
The police could do nothing
Eventually they said I
Must be making it up
Because he was always gone
Before they got there.
I moved.

How about the stranger
In a store who
Asked a question
Then copped a feel?
The clerk told me they’d
Call the police.
Don’t bother I said,
I know how that goes.

One gigantic boss took a photo then
Pushed me into a filing cabinet
And grabbed my boobs and
I froze, terrified.

Another coworker liked to
Grab a cheek as I walked
Upstairs in front of him.

Another thought a Christmas hug
Meant a kiss and shoving a tongue
Down my throat.

Yet another gleefully told me
Of the wonderful dreams he had
Of me.
In detail.

Those are the ones at the top
Of my head.

If it’s any consolation this
Has died down a bit
Since I’ve gotten older.

Sadly just reading all the
#MeToo posts I’m sorry to say
No, it most definitely
Has not gone away.

Here’s my small voice to the pile.

(c) Catherine M. Harris, Nov. 3, 2017

 

 

Won’t You Buy My Home

Buy My House

It’s 6 a.m. and there’s
A viewing again
The place has been cleaned
Within an inch of its life
And yet

One more spot
A hint of a scent
Of something that isn’t
From bottles or cans

We are paying for having
The crime that is cats
Growing children
And a dog
All over time
That was this house.

This is an old place
With glass doorknobs
And seconds used for
Various door frames
And oddly shaped places
There’s 30 year old carpet
Glued to the basement floor.

This is a well loved place
People have lived and died
And grown up
Some have got old
Animals have come and gone.

There are new windows
And sash windows
A couple are cracked
And carpets from
Back when we bought it.

Some walls are fresh painted
Others not
There are trees that need chopping
And grass that is older
Than I am
And I’m not saying how old
That is.

The real estate people
Ever so helpful
Keep saying that someone
Doesn’t like this
Or doesn’t like that
But most of all
It smells like a cat.

Which one?
I’d like to ask.
The ghost cat we see
On the staircase sometimes
Or the visiting cat
That’s stayed for 3 years
Or perhaps our
Pudgy orange cat Moe
Who thinks he’s a dog
And loves everyone going
Be they human or quadriped
Or is it the mighty Bengal
Who hides so you don’t know
He lives here at all?

Carpet is cleaned daily
Mattresses gone to the dump
Wallpaper and paint ongoing
I starting to believe that
A one hundred year old home
Should behave like a youngster
No older than two.

It’s not going to happen
For as hard as we try
The more that we clean
And dejunk the more that we
Find like the bottle of screen paint
From around 1920 that hid
Way back on a shelf.

The bird cage is gone
Which is okay
So are the birds
And the children
That owned them
Off to greener pastures
In some shape or form
So the unsightly scene
Of a home made aviary
Much loved for years
Lies in pieces at the dump

I’m running out of dump passes
And things to throw in it
That could possibly make
A difference.

Tell me
Why a place with
A big yard
And bright windows
A century old
Needs to be perfect?
With charm and character
A house,
Just like people
Will show signs of age.

A home that’s been loved
Has quirks and signs
Of all of its previous
Occupants.
If you want new,
No offense but
Perhaps that’s what you need.

For me I’ll keep buying
My crazy old places
With transoms and sashes
And
Bright spots for the cats.

So, won’t somebody
Buy this place
That’s full of love?
Come, buy my place…

Catherine M. Harris
(c) 2013-07-28 All rights reserved
No reproduction without permission.