About Those Dragons is now available

My children’s book About Those Dragons is now available.  You can learn more on the page above.  You can order it here.


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Love Buzz

Two pieces of sizzly, juicy quiche
Nose to nose on a plate
Waiting to be devoured
Two steaming cups of coffee
So much better than one

Two people cuddled up together for a time
In a warm cozy bed
As dawn breaks on the first
Chilly morning of fall
So much better than one

Two mourners
One sitting at her mother’s graveside
Holding her father’s hand
One standing above her
Gently rubbing her shoulders as she weeps
So much better than one

Two lovers sitting out on the back patio
After the obituary and the service is written
And the sisters are gone
Gazing up at the Harvest Moon
Listening to love songs
So much better than one

(c) Jane Ellen Holliday Wilson
October 2017

Posted in Dementia, Grief, grieving, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Goodly Cleansing

She woke up one day
Knowing that it was
Time to clean house
Inside and out

© JEHW 2017

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Royalty Arrives in Richmond


Four separate varieties of Daylily greet this sultry June morning—pale peach, bright yellow, tiger striped purple and blazing orange. Each one is given only a day to live, and yet they explode with joy at the living of it on my little hill.

So happy they are to find their beauty set off by Queen Anne in the midst of her tea party. She has invited all of lacy white dressed up ladies in Richmond, it seems. They rest on a bed of sedums that are getting ready to turn the ground lavender.

The gathering is just enticing enough to coax reticent Iris along to show off her ruffles, wallflower that she is. She missed her own spring party. Her other Iris buddies began showing up indecently early in April instead of their usual May. But now, she sits on the edge of this well attended affair, all white and lavender herself, with a sweet scented heart of deep purple, no less royal than Anne and her maids in their lacy finery.

And speaking of lavender! Atop the hill the birdbath is dressed in a crinolined skirt of fragrant, long stemmed lavender in bloom—a skirt so attractive that the bees simply can’t keep their hand off it. Mr. Robin tangles with the Sparrow family to taste her watery kisses.

Queen Elizabeth Rose is making a show of it in the front garden down below, surrounded as she is by her Rosemary and Sage servants, she burst forth with a crown of cottony pink blooms there by the side walks edge. She taunts Anne with her privileged placement.

Meanwhile, sweet Rose of Sharon, Daisy and stalwart Black Eyed Susan hold down the other corner. They thrive on the underground water supplied by the upper rain garden now covered in Coneflower and Milkweed, twisty Horsetail, Gardenia and Camellia. I do hope the ladybugs will arrive soon to carry off the aphids that threaten the Milkweed. I so long for the grand and most royal of them all—the Monarch Butterflies—to arrive.

Only three years ago this bit of earth was none but an eyesore—overgrown crabgrass and weeds of ever kind. And now a regal gathering fawns at my door. Who would have guessed—especially me, and the bees—that such abundance could be mine?

© JEHW 2017

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The Ladies at the Happy Table

The ladies at the happy table are not themselves tonight. One of them passed on last Saturday.

She went down pretty suddenly—dehydration; a trip to the hospital; back to her room at the retirement center for a day or two, and then she was just gone.

They are somber, quiet, all in pastels tonight. The weight of their own, not too distant, futures hangs heavy on them, dragging their usual gaiety down into their plates of uneaten food.

It’s not just the specter of imminent demise that’s got them. They just plain miss her. They knew she was kooky, but it was in the cutest way. She war her hair jet-black to the very end (but for the unseen white roots along the cowlick in back of her head). And there was not one single pastel item in her wardrobe—no ma’am—that hair always sat atop a veritable July flower garden of fabric winter, spring, summer or fall.

They just can’t believe she is gone. If she could go so easily—so quickly—which one of them will be next? They look around the table silently and conjecture, wondering what’s worse—to go suddenly, with such little pain; or to be sitting here slightly more alone each day, more isolated from the world, more focused on whether or not the dinner is edible.

Because frankly there is not much more to entertain you in this place. Amazing how the relative temperature of the tomato soup can become such high drama in the life of a former emergency room nurse, mother of six, college professor, CPA.

I know these things because Daddy’s dementia has progressed beyond the constant chatter stage into the occasional inappropriate comment stage. And Momma has pretty much stopped talking, or eating, or hearing much at all.

And it generally only takes me about the first 10 minutes of our endless Monday night dinner ritual for me to tell them the only parts of my life that they can comprehend anymore.

So watching the ladies at the happy table has become a major component of my salvation during these affairs.

Only, tonight my thoughts are giving way to which cliff in the Blue Ridge Mountains I am going to throw myself off of at around age 79.

I don’t think I have these ladies’ courage—or my own parents’ for that matter—to stick it out to the ugly end.

© Jane Ellen Holliday Wilson

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I Am Published Again


Make No Assumptions CoverI am published again.  My new anthology Make No Assumptions is now available on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions.  It is an anthology of short stories, poetry and memoir.  click here  You can read more about it on my new page on this site.  It is fourteen interesting and fun short chapters written over the course of a year with my writing partner Glenda Kotchish in our weekly writing group.  Celebrate with me by purchasing one today.

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Tie me down
Tie me up
Tie me to the river
The ground

I am grounded
I choose this grounding
This earthliness
For a time—an age

My home now—a tether for
My spirit
My soul
My body

I will learn
What I am able
During this particular

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