Ruth Z. Deming has had her work published in lit mags including Literary Yard, Blood and Thunder, Pure Slush, O-Dark-Thirty, and Your One Phone Call. A psychotherapist, she lives in Willow Grove, a suburb of Philadelphia. She's always proud to be published in Scarlet Leaf Review.
MY NEW TEA KETTLE
Ideas come in the middle of the night
Woke up and remembered Thursday is
Without a thought, I ran downstairs,
grabbed Helene's old tea kettle,
stains dripping across the sides
like ruined Carthage
In my brown and white nightie
I placed it gentle as a newborn
in my trash can
Go with God, I wanted to say
As I read this morning's Times
- and yay - there's a promising
treatment for Alzheimer's
An outrageous sound came
from the kitchen.
What's this? An aria by Leontyne or
It's my new Bradford tea kettle
bought for a song at The Giant
Sipping now my Dunkin Donuts Coffee, hot and
sweet as it goes down
Perfect on a soggy day
Five years ago, Winnie’s cancer
returned, determined to kill her.
Hospice was at her sister’s house
twenty minutes away.
“Keep this for me, Ruthie,”
she said, pointing to a huge
container of dappled philodendron.
I nearly failed in my mission to keep
it alive. Brought it outside in the sunshine
where it revived in the presence of
sparrows, cardinals, and two tiny hummingbirds.
“Winnie, I’ve kept my promise,” and water it
on Thursdays. In doing so, I pretend that
Winnie is still alive.
A HALCYON DAY
Any day I'm still alive
is a great day for me.
Six serious illnesses
haunt this mortal body of mine.
First thing I do is go out
and water the garden.
My love and I share it.
He weeds, I water.
Abundant kale, tiny
green tomatoes ripening on the vine.
And one peach on the peach tree.
The others eaten by
the squirrels, who squeezed
between the carefully placed
Each day the peach grows
larger and larger. We
cheer it on as if it were
a Philly’s baseball game.