Agree to Disagree

I don’t always have to agree with what you say

for us to be friends. Trust me, it’s okay

to have different opinions, tastes and thoughts.

(Eat your hot dogs; I’m from Wisconsin. We eat brats).

 

Pro-life, pro choice, gun control, school prayer,

Liberal or conservative–does it matter? Who cares?

That’s you and this is me. 

Why do we have to agree?

 

What’s offensive, disrespectful and really uncool

is to ridicule my ideas and make me feel like a fool.

We are different people, you and me, 

so sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

 

Do you listen? Do you think of others? Are you kind?

Do you get the facts before making up your mind?

Do you think before speaking? Do you help those in need?

Can you laugh for hours at nothing? Do you try to do good deeds?

 

 

That’s what’s important, the only thing that matters in the end.

Not your politics or taste in food, but whether you’re a friend.

 

 (C) Sara Ackerman 2016

 

Unfinished

I didn’t kiss her good-bye this morning. She was rushed, had woken up late and was out the door before I could kiss her lips and tell her I loved her. Chasing after her into the garage, I caught her as she slid into the car. She blew  me a cheeky kiss and promised to make it up to me later. Then she was off like a shooting star across the dark canvas of early morning. 

“Mr. Davis, are you still with me?” the voice on the other end asked, its sound tinny as if coming through a long tunnel.”

“What? Yes, I’m here.” 

“I asked if there was someone you would like me to call?” 

“Didn’t you call me?” 

The voice replied, “I meant someone who could stay with you right now. You shouldn’t be alone.”

My wife loved being alone. She craved silence and solitude, needing the time apart to recharge. But even when she was off by herself, she always welcomed me or the children into her space, never once resenting the intrusion. 

She had been alone today, though. I wasn’t with her, didn’t even know what was happening, so when the time came, no one who loved her had been there.

“Did she suffer?” 

“No.”

Silence filled the line between us. I didn’t know what to say to this voice anymore. Diane had always known what to say. She smoothed out my rough edges and bridged the gap between my mind and my mouth. She was my  helping hand. Even in unfamiliar waters, I knew she was waiting for me on the other side. Over ten years of marriage, she had been a caring guide, a loving partner and a faithful friend. I owed it to her to care for her in her final moments.

“You said I had to come down?”

There was a hesitation, a pause, and then, “We need you to fill out some paperwork. We’d also like you to identify the body.”

I trembled, rage causing my voice to rasp. “Her name is Diane.”

The voice on the other end gentled. “Mr. Davis, I know this is not an easy situation. Please, can you give me the name or number of someone to call to come be with you?”

I looked around our home, at the basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded, at the unfinished afghan waiting to be completed, at her nightgown flung carelessly over the back of the couch. If I closed my eyes, I could imagine her light laughter and the fresh scent of her perfume. Everywhere I looked, I saw her. How could she be gone when she was all around me?

“She was in the middle of reading Alice in Wonderland to our youngest. They were going to go see the play next month. And  she was so excited to go to shopping and to a movie with our teenager this weekend.  Who is going to do that now?”

“I don’t know, Mr. Davis, I-“

“We were finally going to take our European vacation. I don’t want to go to Europe, but she does. Did. I’d have gone to the moon and back if she’d have asked me. I’d have done anything for her.”

Colors faded and blurred. A gaping hole opened in my chest and the room darkened and spun. Knees buckled and I sank to the floor, clutching the phone between my hands, an anchor in these swirling waters of grief and despair. 

Without her, I was incomplete.

“Mr. Davis?” the voice asked. 

“I didn’t even get to say good-bye.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Without her, I was unfinished.

(C) Sara Ackerman 2016

Pretend

She sees

a rocket ship, sleek and red, shooting to the moon,

a cave, deep and dank holding secrets yet to be found,

a purple and pink swirled shell that fits on her back,

a pirate ship with a teddy bear crew,

an art gallery where every drawing is a masterpiece,

a log in the middle of a cool, green forest,

an adventure waiting to begin.

I see

a bill to be paid

a responsibility,

an obligation,

a chore.  

When did my eyesight become so poor?

(C) Sara Ackerman 2016 

Silence is Golden

Nothing like a little shameless self-promotion, especially when given such a great prompt. My second book, Silence is Golden, was contracted at the end of August and will be released in 2017. All my favorite parts are coming up–getting a cover, writing the blurbs, editing and revising. Fun times ahead!

Here’s the current blurb on my site. 

Ever since Evelyn Westby was cursed at the tender age of five, she has been incapable of speaking to anyone outside her family. Still, men far and wide seek to win her favor for her incomparable beauty and mysterious allure. When her betrothal is canceled because of her curse, Evie will do anything to win back the love of her fiance, even travel to war-torn France. Her plans go terribly wrong, but when she meets an intriguing stranger, he helps her learn to accept herself by proving that Silence is Golden.

Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press.

© Sara Ackerman 2016

Bilingual Brains

To my poor brain after a long day of interpreting and translating.

Lips pressed, brows furrowed, she looks at me perplexed.

“I don’t understand. What did you say? You seem so terribly vexed.”
I huff and stomp and wave my hand,

Bite back a curse and demand:

“Mis palabras are not clear?

O tal vez no puedes oír. 

I’m speaking perfectly fine.

El problema is yours, mi amiga, not mine.”
“Ah, I see now what’s wrong. It’s not me, despite your wish.

You’re the one talking in a mix of English and Spanish.”

(C) Sara Ackerman 2016