Photo of the Earth taken from Apollo 8, called Earthrise (1968).


I see the morning moon

dream-full of spring songs—

of sap, worms, crows


(a murder gathers, cawing)


Now she hums fiercely through the clouds,

stirring my senses—


my mother’s alive, the call a mistake,

but my tire’s flat

on an earth that tilts, revolving.


This a quadrille for dVerse. De has asked us to use some form of the word “stir.” Yesterday, my sister got a call that my mom was “unresponsive.” It turns out the facility called the wrong person, and my mother was fine. However, I pulled out of my driveway and discovered my tire was flat. Fortunately, that didn’t happen when we were driving on the expressway.

62 thoughts on “Tilting

  1. Curious synchronicities … glad it was a mis-placed call, even if it served as timely encounter with tire needing attention. We are indeed on a tilting, revolving orb – amazing that things don’t slide into one another more frequently. (Or maybe we’re just used to it and don’t recognize the sliding?)

  2. Gah. So so scary. So thankful it wasn’t your mom. This is an incredible piece. I can feel that earth tilting, and this menace at center (brilliant):
    “(a murder gathers, cawing)”

  3. “my tire’s flat.” Oh. Yes. I actually thought you meant figuratively, poetically, and it so fit. Then I read your paragraph after the poem. Life does flatten us at times in different ways. No visiting our mom either. I email for updates, but really, the staff are too busy to respond.

  4. What a horrible mistake to make! The relief you all felt to find out it was not your mom must have been something else. Bloody hell. Not being able to visit her must be so painful.
    As for the flat tire – best in one’s driveway, I say.
    Wonderful way of sharing your day, Merril!

    • Thank you so much, Dale. By the time I heard the story, my sister already knew it was a mistake, so I didn’t have to deal with that.
      I know my mom is bored, but at least she’s safe. I was just thinking what if she had still been living in her old place on her own and no one could get in to check on her?

  5. Pingback: Everyday Miracles – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

  6. Oh my gosh!!! What a frightening experience…the call….the flat tire so the inability to rush to her….then finding out all is okay which must have just made your bodies go WHOOSH! And then a bit of anger that someone could have made such a mistake? In the end…I am glad it was a mistake and it was not an end. There is enough panic and unsettled feelings in this scare right now without something like that happening.

    • Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words. I actually did not hear about the call until after my sister got the second call, and then I was headed to the gym (now closed) when I got the flat tire. So, I wasn’t really angry or panicked–everything just seemed off kilter.

  7. Ah well, here’s the answer to my question. Yes, understandable but so unfortunate for all. Nothing can make up for the presence of family. Another wall of anxiety. I’m glad at least the phone call turned out to be a mistake. (K)

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