Featured Work: Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen.jpg

You, my love, are an orchid. Delicate, fragile, rare.
You suffer the slight ambient change, the gardener’s rough hands; Wilt
from shrill sounds, seek partial shade.
And I fear you will not survive.
I’m no rock. But of heartier stock---more hedge than flower.
A place to hide behind, a thing to trim, to shape in topiary.

I am still your storyteller,
Still surprised I can impart wisdom to your questions.
“Tell me again, tell me again, what to say and when,”
you repeat, again, again, and again.
I cling to myself or drown under the weight of all your possibilities
I exercise restraint, avoid the sour complaint, until I feel it seeping to a
darker place.

I am the silence in which your voice is heard.
I am the blue branch, and you are the bird.

I know it won’t be over until one of us is gone, but I still wonder
why we never mention our deaths, the fear of going, the fear
of being alone.
The wedding of earth’s eternal dampness to the sun.


Patricia Lawler Kenet is an attorney, journalist and entrepreneur. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times and Salon.com. She enjoys improvisational singing, thrift stores and dogs.

You can read more of her work at patricialawlerkenet.com