Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Holy Years

You at age 30, I rely on my imagination

because I did not know you then

but there’s an old family photo

where you’re on a boat

at sea in summer

handsome enough, carefree


I hold the photo

imagine standing before you

smile to myself because I am certain 

you would have been knocked out 

by my girl-next-door looks 

and an audacity 

to which you were unaccustomed


These days I wait 

for your next physical complaint

or medical test result

or worse, an emergency trip to the hospital – 

this is not a complaint


Another photo to which I return 

is one where I’ve cut away the other faces

I want to see your face only 

your mother’s eyes, crooked and mysterious

a smile that came from somewhere, maybe me 

I feel the loving burden rise up 

heart pain, throat lump 


Too many days of senseless unkindnesses

fade as I look at this photo

my tears absolve us both

though the idiosyncrasies, yours and mine

have surely kept us on tracall these years 

when there seemed no other path

by which to stake our claim 

in the couplehood hall of fame

a marriage so free-falling and blessedly free form 

that it never quite hits the ground


The next snapshot

You Me

a dinner party

a bonfire

everyone thinks “what a great couple”

meant to be 

true love

we humans idolize the concept of true love

it impresses

is coveted 

looks like movie stars on parade

all the right moves and words and angles

but everyone has got it 

so wrong


Love is about the life of years which reside

in the hallowed in-between, 

born out of a charmed moment early on

then, a choice made

not too much more

Monday, August 16, 2021


My mother’s vintage iron pan, 

heavy, hot, ready

she fried up love

caramelization of the soul 

from pot roast Sunday to pizza Friday


Daddy grinned like a kid

savoring simple bounty

pure intention

filled-up empty spaces


Soft white bread, gold potatoes, 

brown saucy gravy

onions permeate the senses

slippery and fragrant

a lone, strong flavor that bonds a family


Now I have my own black iron pan

half my weight required just to heave it onto the stove 

black soil beneath my fingernails

sauté broccoli, 

parboil summer’s hybrids and heirlooms

eat now, store more for winter 

there’s plenty, don’t worry

Order gourmet crab 

douse with herb-infused oil

tend with fervor

stare into space

until dinner sizzles done