Charlene is a prolific writer, having had not only her poetry previously published, but theater reviews and columns as well (many here in Turbula). She's contributed to everyone from Investor's Business Daily
to the La Jolla Village News
. She was also a contributor to "Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul."
Painted in Renaissance style,
an apple-cheeked bambino hangs on the wall
opposite the table at Quinze.
Alone in the restaurant,
I realize that in all the detritus of a 60-something life,
there is not one likeness of me swelled by pregnancy.
I must ask my middle-aged children to take on faith
the nature and fact of their birth, that I nurtured them
through a miraculously wrought placenta
that carried sustenance to voracious bodies.
When the first birds call in Gubbio,
when the light begins to fill the Medieval window,
I become aware once more of the bells
that clang the hours and the quarter hours all night,
creating a salubrious cacophony that lulls us
as we slip away insensate.
My daughter sleeps serenely with her arms crossed over her chest;
Laura, her dark hair as if arranged by unseen hands.
Slipping in and out of sleep, I confuse her with my sister.
Laura lies beside me; Lynn still inhabits me,
a vibrant presence alive in dreams alone.
I want to feast on them forever, and I will,
just as mother yet watches and delights in me.
We are connected in this way.