Ann Keiffer


You just turned sixty-nine,
which, if I calculate correctly,
means you are almost 70.
And your 69-going-on-70
birthday makes me think
about what my life will or
would or might
be like without you.

One of the small things
I would miss nearly as
much as your hands,
your skin, and your lips
is the intimacy of the private
jokes we’ve gathered to us
over our lifetime together.
It is only with you that
certain words and phrases
call up a sly inward wink
of recognition and
the sweet, knowing
laughter of a time,
a place, and a context
you and I have shared…

“Uh, no-no, I wasn’t going
to wear this…I was just
going out to the mailbox,
then come back in and change.”

“We might be too old
to buy green bananas.”

“This is your big
meal of the day.”

“We take a sacred oath
on these paper placemats
that we will never eat at
this restaurant again.”

“Watch out for the attack
of the vicious croutons!”

“You could get a burn
on a day like this.”

“Don’t call me sweetheart!”

“I could eat.”

“Wow, you’ve got a really long list.”

“You look viry, viry purty
tonight, Karen Sue.”

In our youth, when we were
in college in separate states,
I sent you a Japanese haiku
written sometime in the
1700’s by the poet Taigi.

“Look, O look, there go
fireflies” I would like to say,
but I am alone.

So many private moments
like tiny flashes
of light in the night.
How lucky we are to have
seen all our fireflies,

Ann Keiffer
April, 2012

Image Credit: Google Search, Nexus Wallpaper


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

Recent Poems

Buy My Book