Borrowed Pages – “the last day”

On the first day of September, we ended our long series of “write!” salons at JohnnyCakes Cafe in Nyack, which we “prompt”-ly eulogized in verse. Many thanks to Mary Blehl for sharing her fresh-on-the-page musings.

Our community “write!” salons continue at three other times and places this fall; check our calendar for details.

Last Day Hodgepodge 

by Mary Blehl


The last day never happened.

When the Volkswagen van engine blew up

Requiring another four weeks of work to pay for another

Only to have the last day not the last day

When the engine blew up again.

More money, more time.

The last day moved to a day riding with two crazy guys

Across the country

At 100 mph so we could have lots of time to sight-see

And get there in a week.


The last day I saw my mother

Fell on my son’s 7th birthday.

“You should go home to Erich,” she said.

I did, and never saw her again alive.


The last day of cleaning an apartment

To go to an owned house.

The dirt never stopped—32 hours to get it sparkling.

I wanted that security deposit

And wasn’t taking any chances.


The last day of writing in the coffee shop,

Remembering the prompts

Stones—how vividly I recall the family ones shifting and re-organizing

(One is missing now).

The variety of responses to the same prompt,

No repetition anywhere.

Prompts that brought out love, bloody violence, dialogue, gentle reflections, sex, memories of childhood, visual splendors, humor,

And wonder how so much could come from a simple idea.

The Hopper House –paintings and thoughts about Edward looking at the river (David loaned me his notebook).

Another kindness—half a blueberry pancake so delicious it became a poem.

Dishes crashing.

Comfy 50s tables and funky atmosphere.

No formality.

Food surrounds like mother’s milk.

Children’s voices,

Professional waitresses whisking your coffee,

Bright lights – you can see the food.

Does the men’s room also have a porthole window and permanent dust greased in the corners?

The end of something good feels final, unwanted.

Yet other last days exude relief.

Let go of the past.

Yippee! It’s over.

This one may not really be the last.

We carry on…