Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Day Sense



Every day belongs to you

so remember

feed the brain, hug the heart,

go easy on the liver


embrace the commute, 

the flow and calming rhythm of

office, work, life, food, sleep, family

don’t forget nature and music 


loyalties and sensibilities matter

whether in a city high rise 

a town hall

a country store 

or even a dentist’s office


calculate the math

mix the chemicals

write the essay 

apply the salve 

make history


exercise

save money 

listen well

help others 

(I mean, really - 

isn’t it the right thing to do?)

help others help you

show up early 

(someone will notice)

take a sick day

breathe 


I urge you to

consider problems in the morning

sit at your desk 

feign deep thought

press cup of coffee

to forehead

as if you’re a magician

preparing to guess which playing card will appear next


when someone passes

and gives you the eye

maybe smile politely 

keep a sign nearby that says

“Work in Progress”

leave space for resolution 

I promise 

you will be saved later, that very same day



Saturday, May 22, 2021

Getting Back to the Garden


Afterthoughts 

I am such a social being, I have never not liked people. This past year drove home the aching absence of friends, my constants. The crust of icy heartbreak that covered my front yard this past January forced me out into the cold.  No one met me there.


Family members who tend to worry less, leave space for me to worry more, a full time job I’ve taken on in this life. 


The small stuff. Food. Wine. Netflix. Being cooped up with a spouse who can get on my nerves on a good day in a good year. Bet he feels the same about me. Is it over yet? Please say yes.


Little kids come to see me. We never stopped hugging. We merely did it less often than we used to. As if this made any difference to a virus. One stray germ, and one of us could still wind up in sick bay. I keep our hugging- secret because many of my peers don’t touch their grandchildren these days. 


I am weirdly opinionated about my politics because my heart lives with the group that prefers to help others. So I take my chances with love and hugs. Go ahead and judge. 


A liberal in the true definition of the word means I stop and listen to another’s point of view. I put virus conversation aside. As angry and concerned as the day makes me feel, we don’t discuss January 6. I don’t bring in conspiracy (sigh…) We don’t talk about Nancy or Mitch. Instead, we talk about our cats. We share music. We bake bread. We hug. We get back to love, where it all began. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Old Ways


Dash through co-op aisles

speed-foraging for

chia cookies, strawberry jam,

a greeting card


Familiar silhouette catches my eye

mind settles back down

no way

it can’t be Jane

this woman seems too thin

still, eyes smile through 

a double mask


Groceries had been the priority 

a friend’s apparition takes the moment 

as if a spell has been cast

creating awkward silence 


Mutually, we shun the idea of moving closer 

(what would be the point?)

followed by a hesitant wave, 

remembering how we used to 

greet

talk and hug 

uncensored 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Doll

 Published in Zig Zag Lit Mag, issue 10

I, the oldest sister that December

Barbie arrives in our home, a new baby

me, awestruck, craven

wanting to feel her small body in

my arms

trace her delicate features with my fingertips

tiny feet

a marvel whom I adore

her scent, benign and sweet 

silent—such a good girl

dressed in black and white at the start so as not to garner too much attention

Years after, she trades up for the pink crinoline prom dress and backless plastic heels

*~**~*


The never-ending smile morphs into perpetual smirk

her eyes, dead pool

first, I am seven;

I become thirteen

my adoration melts like plastic shoes held over a flame

“You cannot compare your

dishpan hair to my blonde ponytail.

I am your statuesque mini

you will understand the unachievable— this tiny waist


though you will try like hell to mold, flatten, chisel

hate yourself

eat an apple one day

starve on bowls of cereal the next 

feed on nothingness, drink the air

still, you will never be me

I am the love of antiquarians

vintage, chic, collectible

ruination of your child/woman body.”


I remember daddy saying,

“If only we had kept her in her case,

she would have been worth so much more.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Family of Guns


Swore to god

I’d never own a gun

I’m afraid of them. 


Pacifist

peace signs adorn my home

to own a gun means more violence

promotes more gunnage. 


My friend’s daughter

lives in D.C.

the daughter, super liberal

champion of the weary

out on the streets, 

she knows 

cops can help,

and sometimes they hurt


“It’s coming,” she says

the day when everyone

will need a gun

want a gun 

own a gun


Not me…

until he stood in our kitchen

“Remember that conversation about guns?”


He lifted it from the locked-down case

ultra sleek

almost pretty, dark charcoal-tint  

cold blue steel 

and me, such a sucker for color 


Here, hold it. 

you’ll learn


Fits comfortably 

wrapped in soft, gentle fingers

grip firm

don’t point

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Lady Elaine Farewell

“I’m half sick of shadows,” she said.  (Arthurian legend so lush)


Cloaked in desire

atop a tower of stone 

she wants what

she cannot know 

Invisible carriage attends

her fate as droplets of golden 

tears flow

Longing the one who does 

not exist

exquisite pain shall prevail

hiding her grief beneath

Lancelot’s cape 

breath sighs into mist

as she sails 



Monday, March 15, 2021

Spring Thaw


Let it all melt

may it not snow again for 1000 days


I take it all back

what I said last November about cleansings and blessings 

I lied


Believe me I’m as surprised as you

I should be banished from these  mountains for uttering such blasphemy 


Though this current winter has had its moments, I’ll admit.


Small children ski their first slope

smooth sweet agile 


Buses filled with hopeful skiers 

you will remember the 

‘I’m-so-lucky three-day weekend,’

depart with breathy memory of sweet air and evergreens

why, I bet you thought even the booze tasted better.


Re-entry to your suburbs and cities will be a total drag 

though you’re welcome to return.


But me? 

I’m done

these past virusy months I watched snows fall from a never-ending gray canopy


Those things I thought I loved?

Jotul warmth

Reading 

Petting cats

Holing up. 

Cooking stew. 

Baking cookies

I never want to taste a winter stew again, I see no reason for parsnips 

I will leave the baking to other  women 

and practice being a woman in my own way. 


Honesty

a sigh of relief

sun shadows trail across my hands

eyes adapt to February brightness


Vermont - I will abide 

but I haven’t changed my mind

may it all melt