Duggan & Maire – November 2016
Catherine Maire and Teresa Duggan traded art and words. Teresa shared this photograph, entitled “Blue Cadillac, Pink House,” with Catherine:
In response, Catherine wrote this poem:
With you the world was pink-blue joy:
The summer house
The shiny car
Clear eyes and promises.
In summer we traveled to the ocean
you–tapping rhythm on the steering wheel
me–feet propped up on the dash
us–sun brown and electric blue
singing Hot Rod Lincoln and Born to Run
sharing joints and chewing gum
heady from protests that stopped a war
living fully in the moment.
By day–sandy and sunbaked
wearing cut-off jeans
dodging salt-slick surf
while beach breeze crisped
our freckle-toasted skin
eating pizza by the slice
in over air-conditioned booths
sharing salty, malty vinegar fries
in soggy paper cups
walking sun-blistered boards
under flat-heat sunny skies.
At dusk the pink house welcomed us with humid sighs
windows open to the evening breeze
night sounds drifting to our bed
brown limbs tangled in summer sheets
the constant contact
skin to skin
heart to heart
free souls freely joined.
We planned a future of our choosing,
cruising forward on pulsing engines
powered by rock and roll
and protest songs
holding hands and surging
from pink-clapboard summers
to share a life in love.
Summer after summer
life was our infinity to grasp
guaranteed by youthful strength.
Soul mates till death do us part
we vowed for every sunny year
until death did just that,
and I stood alone
beneath the ocean sky
beside a peeling painted house.
Without you life was harder.
No more summers at the shore.
The pink house went to auction.
I sold the Cadillac.
But every now and then I stop
and picture us
behind pink-clapboard walls
or sailing down the highway
in a blur of blue,
and I smile to myself
at those happy pink-blue memories
where you remain
instead of old like me.
* * * * *
Catherine shared this poem with Teresa:
I stand before the cold windowpane
A dark room at my back.
Snow falls in gentle motion
Slanting through the streetlight’s golden glow
The blizzard just beginning
Silent and soft.
I sleep beneath thick quilts
A warm cat at my side
While the world slows to a standstill,
Morning light lost in white-gray down
The second day of snow:
Beautiful but cold.
For once, the world stays home.
We turn on lights and pull out books
Discover card games and homemade cookies
Peek out windows every hour
As ground levels rise and details disappear
Into pillowing white mounds.
Then figures emerge
Muffled in down and knitted wool
Lurching knee-deep in fluff
To shovel snow like our ancestors
Once tilled fields side by side.
Neighbors come together
To help the widow on the hill.
I sip Earl Grey beside my window
Remembering storms from years now past:
The children sledding the big hill,
Tinkling ice in the pine boughs,
Stoking the woodstove as mittens steam nearby,
The smell of warming wool,
And how we cuddled in the dark
Deep in the burrow of our bed
Giggling like children ourselves
While the world slept in its snowy feathers.
The second night at my window,
Watching the final wave push through,
Leaning my cheek against the cold glass,
I look up to see the fairy skirts
Whirling slowly in the wind
Dancing to the silent ground
Overwhelmed by Earth’s indifference.
I watch throughout the night
Waiting for the dawn
And through the cold and quiet
One icy fact reverberates:
I will never see you again.
In response, Teresa made this image, entitled “frosty warm glow”: