Poem of the Week, by CAConrad

Oh, this poem. When I first read it my long-ago friend Marty shimmered up in my mind, small thin Marty who came to the creative writing classes I taught at the Minnesota AIDS project when I first moved to Minneapolis. I used to bake muffins to pass around and Marty loved them, blueberry especially.

Once, when he and I were in the parking lot talking after class, he reached out and filched a third muffin from the basket. It wants to be free, he said, with that sly smile of his, I’m just liberating it. You’re long gone now, Marty, along with so, so many others from back in those pre-medicine days, but I promise I still see you, and every time I bake blueberry muffins I think of you.

72 Corona Transmutations (excerpt), by CAConrad

                                                my friend

                                                Rex told me

                                                when he was

                                                dying of AIDS

                                    promise me every day of 1993

                        will be the best day with or without me  

                                                27 years later

                                                the promise

                                                still kept 

For more information on CAConrad, please visit their website.

Words by Winter: my podcas


  1. suzanne · February 19, 2022

    beautiful in its simplicity

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · February 21, 2022

      So much in so few words. XO


  2. mbarrette15outlookcom · February 19, 2022

    Dear Alison,

    Your story and poem touched me.
    My son Trevor is with me this weekend which is very special not only because we were not able to hook up for the holidays but also because we were not always this close.
    When he told me that he was gay, 12 years ago, at 18, , he also told me that he feared telling me because of my behavior and comments throughout is youth in regards to effeminate behavior.

    I was raised as a typical jock along with the vocabulary that did not respect those who did not show a masculine demeanor.
    French Canadian has or had its own peculiar labels: “ fifi, tapette, moumoune,petite fille, etc”
    He had definitely heard these words out of my mouth but not directed at him since he did not outwardly show these stereotype gestures.
    He was certainly sensitive, did not like rough housing, ran awkwardly as he played soccer and was and still is fantastic dancer.

    So I was a bit surprised but ….it soon fit in. I did not freak out and he was surprised.
    I was newly separated and the kids decided with whom to stay as they were older.
    Alyssa went with her mom, Trev stayed with me but soon after he told me , he moved out.
    What probably did not help was a stupid comment I made but really believed in at the time.

    Told him that I was fine as long as his coming out of the closet did not translate to him being “visibly” gay in behavior.


    All this to say that with Aids being treatable at that time, I was only worried about his future in an homophobic culture.
    He reassured me by telling me that as an actor, artist he was actually quite comfortable.
    His first hint was in fact when he was part of a play about kids affected by divorce (8 yrs. old at the time) and had a crush on a young technician.

    So there you go again Alison, your work with Aids affected individuals, muffins… all in all love, your loving self at work then and still.

    Gros bisou xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · February 21, 2022

      Mario mon cher ami, you are always so kind. And so reflective. This story about your son, and you, and the ways we change and grow, goes straight to my heart. Love you.


  3. Reine · February 21, 2022

    Yes Alison, your loving self … always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · February 21, 2022

      The same to you. XO


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