By: Meghan J. M. Caughey
I saw her again just now
wearing a long pale pink coat, clutching a white canvas bag of groceries
face tight, lopsided,
eyes looking down, seeing nothing,
except invisible insects in mandala designs
don't step too hard, don't step here, don't step there
I could be her; I came too close
wind picked up as I walked out the door,
the red gloves that have no fingers,
it's easier this way, for clutching, and letting go
I used to see her every day, roughly propelling herself down the sidewalk
looking down, muttering to herself
younger, yes, but gray, even in her youth
her litany, some broken discourse
And I thought: I could be her
How is it that I escaped this predicament?
all that was forecast:
the worse, and then more worst, after that, much more of the worst
I ran out of his office, down the stairs
there was no safe kingdom, no cabana on a distant beach,
no taxi stand on guard
I was on guard, constantly,
judgment of the planets kept me company
the worst happening
over and over, then the worst, and then more of the worst
Is it some miracle, is it a sheer clothed fluke, did a layer of skin slide away, as I pulled out of the harbor, hardly under my own steam, sliding by, so close, I could hear your breath?
My sidewalk sister, long pink coat, did not escape like me
but we have more in common than you would expect
her face tight, life holds, a moment, then gone
Did I hold you hard enough?
can you rise early from your grave-
before it snatches you away
but you are already gone,
I step back so you can pass.
The woman knew
The crack in the earth
Would suck her down
Under the Mud
She would find
Meghan J. M. Caughey is a visual artist, cellist and writer. Her memoir, " Mud Flower: Surviving Schizophrenia and Suicide Through Art" was published in 2021 and is winner of four book awards. She sees art as a path for healing the slings and arrows of humaness. Her favorite quote is "Art is the highest form of hope.", by Gerhard Richter. Meghan admits to seeing " Winged Beings" in the sky and other energies and beings that most people do not see. She is currently writing her second book which focuses on how " winged beings" can help humans create beauty and life.