Home Sick (& other stories)

by lynn parkerson

Life’s force driving us forward. Life’s force without direction – its own direction.
We are its creation, at its mercy. We have no choice,
But to try.

We get old – zapped by the long shadow of regret. But we tried – and failed.
We will always try and always fail.


father ceiling, mother floor, 4 walls of sisters, enclosed, but there were windows. I flew out and went far away to faraway countries. At that time far away Yugoslavia, East Berlin.
How exciting, how strange, how bizarre –
The bakeries where the frosting on all the cakes was gray and there as only one author, Hegel, in the book store window. Alexanderplatz.
That faraway country my home then.

The rooms called me back. father ceiling, mother floor, walls of sisters.
Now the ceiling gone and the floor about to collapse. One sister wall up in smoke, gone.
3 walls left and now the structure like some 70’s crazy architecture, Vermont commune, geodesic dome.

I tried. We tried. We fail and we try again.


Love and Baggage

Acrobatics. You’ve got to be good, great in fact. The virtuosity. One word leading to another, just the right rhythm, the rhyme, the forgone conclusion, rap it up. It’s work, it’s play. I won’t work at it, not right now, maybe never. I’m already an acrobat. Twisting, turning, showing my good angle, balanced on the edge of tumult. No solid ground here. I’m inside the tube of the wave. Is the water fine?

My mother is dying. It was only just mid-February when I picked her up at the airport, home from her annual visit to California, visiting her sister. Now that she can’t think straight, is frail, they take her off the plane in a wheelchair. She will be delivered to me at the baggage claim. I watch the suitcases stream onto the conveyor belt.

Then – the real baggage arrives, the elderly in wheelchairs. There is my mother. The hard part, knowing that I too am baggage. My children will pick me up at the baggage claim. If I’m lucky. Or maybe everything will be different. I hope so. But the end is never pretty.

It is a brilliant day – pure perfection. I am alone here, a sister on the way. We’re going to see my mother. We’ll walk outside here; water, sand, sky, leaves, flowers. We’ll remember that place where my mother took us when we were small, when our family broke apart. The water, sand, sky, rocks instead of leaves and the beach roses. From now on every time I stoop down to take in the scent of this sandy rose I will say I love you.