56 was an easy year - peaceful,
no weddings, deaths, divorces,
pregnancies, births, major illnesses,
no big accomplishments. 57 shook life
by the neck - deaths of beloved elders,
parents of friends, life threatening
illnesses or family and friends,
Ruth unexpectedly, joyfully pregnant
in winter, baby Mira died in spring.
Joanna's marriage, revealed as broken,
ended, new love in her life and family,
offered opportunity to know and love Tracy.
Train trip alone across desert to writer's
retreat with friends at Big Bear produced
new poems- sorted recipes, letters, toward
making snse of family story - made it real.
Bob in hospital with blood clot, could have
blown as aneurysm, could have killed him.
Ruth became pregnant again come summer. Joanna too.
Twin cousins are charted for February arrival
K.K. reached puberty,started middle school.
emergws as the serious dancer she hopes to be.
Danny and Zachary reaching new maturity, calm,
Danny created space alien and ocean books,
Zachary shot basket after basket, dribbled.
Bob and I charted possible retirement in six
years, seven? My work life tripled in intensity
and income. Essay published in grief book.
Economy crashed, jobs lost, stocks lost,future shaky,
people frightened. Barack Obama elected President.
57 shook life by the neck. 58? Can't know yet.
I count my blessings to have gotten this far.
Victoria Hendricks - 12=22-2009