Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Taught Us

If you do not ask
you will never know.

Movement is easy.
Stillness is difficult.

Things will
be okay.

Stop again.

A lot of good
is possible.

Some things
never change.

A half-familiar tune
on the wind.



It is all still there
waiting for you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

He Asks, I Answer

How long does it take
how long
to learn something
something hard as
riding a bike
knitting a sock
teaching a class
growing a tomato
cooking a turkey?

I am here, honey
to tell you
it takes a long time
a long time
and you will
skin your knee
start over ten times
embarrass yourself a little
over water
burn your hand
and beat your little head
against the table.

But the hard things
the really hard things
the things that drive you crazy
the things you want the most
are almost always
worth it.

Monday, April 28, 2008


After a long day
a long day of chores
with some worry
and a niggly little headache
I am more than happy
to sit down and complain
just a little
over dinner.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


A strong breeze
blowing through this afternoon
knocking things from the trees
and driving the windchimes crazy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

After Dinner 2008

With the meal all but done
we sit over what's left
a spoon of potatoes
shrimp in a small
puddle of lemon
as we finish our wine
and the music
comes to an end.

Meanwhile, my son
is at the computer
leaving a comment on my blog.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Certainty of the Green World

it is
the smallest bird
that sings
the biggest song.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Twenty Five

Pumping gas
I am shocked
by the low
bulgy look
passenger side
front tire.
Seventy five cents
(remember when the
solution was a quarter)
buys a little
bit of confidence
to drive home on.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


A feather spirals down
from an empty sky
looks like rain.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I can handle the bad news
war reports on the radio
if I am chopping vegetables
while I listen

can deal with the world’s troubles
if I’m in the process
of solving my own
evening hunger
our need to tell
the day’s stories
around our safe little table.

But without my safety net
of head bent towards
a sharp knife and the cool surrender
of carrot before me
I have to turn it off.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I've been waiting
all day
to hear
your little song.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I am always sorry
to have looked any closer
a flash of gray and white
and at second glance
it is not one
but two dead birds.

Young and small
but not babies
no innocent tumble
from the nest
but gutted
by a neighborhood cat.

My son wants to look
and I have to let him.

Death, we see
is often brutal
cannot be helped

and my son moves on
and I don’t know if I can.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


So, you thinking about a poem, he asked
pouring a second glass of wine
as we sat over
what's left of dinner
picking at the broccoli
until there was not enough
to save for tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Things I can't Do

The backyard birds I cannot protect
the season I cannot slow
the rain swollen door I cannot open
the color of the sky I cannot reinvent
I cannot forget.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Little Pencil, Scratching

Why do they work best when worn down
half used-up
when the point is uncertain
and the eraser
all but gone
little metal barrel that will
rub holes
if you make an error
not easily fixed
with an enthusiastic crossing-out?

My wild youth was spent
writing with only the darkest ink
fearing revision
like a black cat or shattered mirror.
Today I embrace
my inner pencil
its willingness everyday
to keep moving
making mistake
after glorious mistake.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


We often speak
of sign and portents
controlling things
that will not be
the radiator leak
the toilet apparatus
we try and fail
again and again
to fix
an augury of good will
we are still searching for.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Not a single moment
to spare today
no slow walk
no quiet break
or glance out the window
or glimpse of the sun playing shadows on the blinds.

No time
for a second look
at the velvety red flowers
petunias bending
in the breeze
that blew right past me

Monday, April 14, 2008

Long Gone

After the last time
I backed down the icy driveway
you headed someplace warm, third world
and unstable
and I fled South
throwing mittens, scarves and wooly hats
out the car window
saying goodbye
to all that was
frozen and snow and smoke and loss
as the grassed greened up
on the side of the road.

I worked and slept.
I walked the sand beach
night after night
talking to the wind,
the ocean.

And I don’t even know
what reminded me today
a slant of shadow on the lawn
a song
drifting out
some stranger’s open window?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


a slow day

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I am outside today
long enough to hear
the creak of the tree
next door and somewhere
down the street
a neighbor shovels
what sounds like gravel.

The cardinal scolds her mate
from the back fence
and from maybe a block away
a baby is crying.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dream: Number Seven

In my dream
a big black dog
is at the door
and I ask
is it safe?

Can we let him in?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sometimes in the Night

Sometimes in the night
all I need is to listen
for the familiar rhythm
of your breath
and if my need
is great
I will reach out and touch you
with my hand or foot
and it's all the reassurance
I require
to fall
back to sleep.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Rain hung around
in the clouds all day
refusing to fall
creating a day gray enough
to inspire only napping
and perhaps a drowse through
a chapter or two
words I will not
remember reading

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Slow Burn

When it happens
it’s like a fever.

It’s a younger girl’s game
the tossing and turning
and all the ceiling fans
and fancy drugs
cannot hold back
the slow burn of this age.

The year when some
parts have stopped working
leaving you stranded,
one foot in your used to be
one foot here and now.

Yet there is still work to do
a humid afternoon to be stared down
with flowers to plant, rows
to knit, books to be read
and these words
to weave together
with your hands.

Monday, April 7, 2008


in and out of clouds.

Half lit, the shed
which is a mess
looks instead rustic
and almost quaint.

The shadow is more substantial
than the rickety chair it reflects.

Can you count the days until summer?

Sunday, April 6, 2008


This old pecan is the last to leaf
the other trees having beat it by days or weeks.
It will also hang on to those hard-won
leaves for months longer, giving shade
well into our autumn days.

A late bloomer that gives us a little more
in our time of need, the kind of service
we take for granted, but shouldn't.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


The pigeons
from the sound of it
are planning a revolt.
They'll make us pay
for our generosity
towards the pecan-fat squirrels
and our continued tolerance
of the neighborhood strays,
cats who rule these streets
with iron claws.

Friday, April 4, 2008

On the Edge of Something

A sharp roof line
wind-blown rain
the doghouse
for an imaginary dog
perfectly fried chicken.

Tiny soap bubble
drifting around the kitchen
long after the dishes are done
a ten year memory.

Wind chime song, always the same, never the same.

Heat, just enough to make you sweat.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Watching the River

It is best on a cloudy day, too much sun
and you begin to question its green
or be saddened by the effluvia
caught along the banks.

Stand between tall trees to understand
the timeless motion
that it has been here much longer
than anything else.

Be still and let the river
flow past you, past
buildings and parks
grass and concrete
making its way down
to the mystery of the greener sea.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What They're Dreaming

Sometimes in the very early morning
when my lamp is reflected by dark windows
looking out on the still and silent street
I like to imagine what they’re dreaming.

The husband dreams long sequences
of DNA, the four magic letters
dancing in an endless loop that
ladders up to the sky and returns to earth
as musical notes, sometimes lyric, sometimes

The child dreams of cartoon battles.
Evil is conquered. The day is saved.
He’s hoisted onto a tower,
primary colored tiny interlocking bricks
and he climbs to the top and dives
to the crystal water below, swimming
and there is a hand reaching
to help him up and out.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's

A day begun with rain and car crashes
on the Interstate, a snarl
that won’t be untangled till well past ten.

The birds are soggy, street sounds
more traffic than song.

Even the hum of the refrigerator
cannot cheer me up.