Archive for the ‘Discount Miracles’ Category

my mother’s hands (response to “hands” prompt)

September 4, 2008

My Mother’s hands were never soft and scented. 

Mom was always a hard worker, and her hands told her story. 

Today, her hands tell another story.


I remember Mom’s hands, red and raw, scalded by the dishwater.

I remember Mom’s hands, caked with dirt from the garden, her nails rimmed black.

I remember Mom’s hands, quick and sure, peeling potatoes for her famous potato salad.

I remember Mom’s hands, cold and bony, touching my cheek to prove to me how cold it was outside.

I remember Mom’s hands, sharp and hard, like her sudden slaps.


Mom’s hands are no longer rough and worn.

Her papery skin looks like vellum,

But is soft like velvet.

Her left is paralyzed, claw-like.

Mom can still feed herself,

Write some, scrub a little.

Now Mom has to ask for help.

I know she hates that,

She who was always

so independent and strong.

It took a stroke for Mom to have soft hands.


Today I am very grateful for my rough, red hands,

Still strong and capable.


© 2008 Kerry Vincent


2 new ATCs

June 15, 2008

painting by Susan Seddon Boulet, collage by Kerry

(text says: Today could be amazing – stayed tuned…”


on receiving my Laurel Crown from Soul Food Cafe


Fire Lily

June 13, 2008


Softly whistling as it shoots upward,

Bursting in a sparkling display

Of color, design, and gracefulness,

The fire lily brilliantly blooms

In the hot summer night sky.

It twinkles for a few moments,

And then is sifted slowly into the darkness,

Blown away on the breeze,

Gone except for the memory.


I wish upon each falling star

That I may follow in its shining arc:

Subtle in my ascent,

Glorious in my brief moment,
Graciously fading away…


© 1982 Kerry Vincent






What a Knock-Out!

June 4, 2008

My neighbor’s knock-out rose (my photo) – Kerry


9 lives

May 28, 2008

by Kerry Vincent (c) 2003


If I had another 9 lives to live….


I’d eat more kitty treats and roll in more catnip;


I’d hide under more beds and shred more lace curtains.


I’d take more naps and bask in more sunbeams;


I’d chase more dust bunnies and eat breakfast twice.


I’d wake my human earlier each day


And look betrayed when we arrive at the vet’s.


I’d glare at more toddlers and swat at more dogs


So everyone would know I rule my home.




If I had another 9 lives to live


I would demand more petting,


Enjoy more ear and chin scratches,


Even roll on my back for more belly rubs.


I would shed more hair on the clean laundry


To freshly mark my territory.


I would grace more laps, pillows, and beds.




I would never let another day go by


Without a good, long, loud, deep




Little Things

May 21, 2008

It’s those little things people remember about you, you know.


It’s not all the work you did, your big accomplishments, awards you achieved, contests or contracts you won.  It’s the little off-the-record comments that make people miss you.  After you’re gone, I mean.


One of my co-workers died a couple years ago.  A very nice guy named Denny.  He did good work, knew his IT, served his country, but I remember the little things.  I found some salt water taffy in the community candy dish…it reminded me that Denny used to bring the freshest, softest taffy back every time he returned from visiting his mother out East.  He also would bake bread a couple times a week and bring it in to the office to share…


It wasn’t just the food – it was Denny’s thoughtfulness.  He brought an ice scoop and a cup to rest it in so we didn’t have to use our hands to get ice…and a plastic pitcher with a line marked so we’d make never-fail coffee… he brought his spare drill into the office, just in case…it’s come in handy a number of times… 


Denny was genuinely cheerful – not in a fake perky sort of way – when he said, “Happy Tuesday!” – he meant it.  His joy de vivre was contagious – I felt better when he was around. 


So even though I didn’t know Denny well, I remember him, and I miss him.  For his practicality, his thoughtfulness, his smile, the way he always said, “Thank you, thank you!” – all the little things that made him Denny.


…Makes me wonder what people will remember about me…


© Kerry Vincent

floral chiascuro

May 18, 2008

floral chiascuro

photo taken this morning by Kerry (c) 2008



Muse Times Two

May 13, 2008

Cactus Flower

Changing Colors


Here are two of Genece’s digital paintings that I framed in stained glass.   Kerry

i remember…

May 7, 2008

* * * * * * *

      Only a name.  Only a name and a piece of cloth.  Only a name and a piece of cloth to remember someone who lived and loved, someone who died of HIV-AIDS.

            This is the second time I will view a Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibit.  I take a deep breath and begin the slow walk around the huge gymnasium.  Bright panels of leather and lame’, denim and sequins, hand-blocked letters remind me that persons with AIDS are more than Center for Disease Control statistics:  each one has a name and a personality and someone who will miss them.

            I recognize Ryan White’s name, but the panel that strikes me most displays simple yellow letters on black felt.  It says, “My name is Duane.  I was born in 1964.  I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987.  By the time you read this, I will be dead.”

            A square of canvas and markers are provided so viewers can sign a quilt panel.  I see the name of someone I knew, Helena Henry Hatch, a fellow volunteer.  I went to her funeral.  Always dedicated to education and prevention, Helena requested that condoms be distributed for free after her funeral service. 

I write, “You teach me to honor the present.”

          Someone else has written, “Love is never wrong,” and “Love is not in vain.”

            My friend Jerry says hello and shows me the panel he sewed for his buddy Larry.  I give Jerry a hug and tell him I love him.  Jerry is caring, creative, talented, intelligent, he knew Janis Joplin during the original Summer of Love, and he is HIV +.  I don’t want to lose Jerry, too.  Ever the caregiver, he hands me a tissue.

            I tell Jerry, “You will always be more than just a number, just a name on a piece of cloth.”

            He kisses my forehead and thanks me for coming to honor his friends.


* * * * * * * *


I wrote this piece about 15 years ago.  Jerry died in 1999.  I made his panel for the Names memorial quilt.


When I Turn 40

May 7, 2008

By Kerry Vincent © 1992


When I turn 40,

You’d better duck!

I won’t waste time

And I won’t give a fuck!

When I turn 40,

Get out of my way.

I won’t be pleasant

And I’ll have my say.

If you don’t like it

I won’t really care.

If you don’t believe me,

Just test my dare.

Mid-life is half-life,

I’ve got no time to lose!

No more pleasing others:

It’s MY time to choose!

“Life begins at 40” –

Or so I’ve heard say.

Why wait till then?

I’ll start living today!