Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Lines

On the day I was born
My mother defied the doctors
refusing sleep
instead cherishing the pain
that brought me.

On the day I was born
my father took photos
beautiful silver prints
Then left to
celebrate alone.

That day the lines were drawn.
I was hers.
The bottle was his.

(written in response to a poetry prompt on G+)


I left home eager for
the taste of new skies.

My mother waved me off
with a kite
and a calling card
and a reminder to call on Monday.

I have called my mother
most every Monday night
for many years.

Long black wires stretch
umbilically across the land,
calling her voice
to me.

Some days I wake, eager to place
handset to ear
to hear the familiar pattern
of her words.
I have used the calling card so many times
my fingers dial it without thought.

Sometimes, when I try to remember the sequence
I have to hang up – I'm lost

but when I am desperate, 
panicky for reassurance
my hand flies
and it rings
and I shudder into the line
shivering thousands of miles
soaring into the night sky
plunging under the snow drifts,
my fears turned copper and steel
until she resurrects me
with a simple hello.

There have been days
when I have left notes for myself
“call mom”
“don't forget”
“you know she worries”
but still time slides by
When I do call she is regretful
for the week we have lost.

There are days when I can't wait
I must share
my newest crush
or devastation.
and I pour myself
into the cradle
mouthpiece to earpiece.

Some Mondays
our conversation is empty
with weather and work.

She writes lists of things
I must know
and I stack reminders
by the phone.
Some weeks the pile is higher when I hang up.

Our good-byes are long with miles
of regret
and last minute memories
of things we need to share

Every Monday
for twenty years
plus some.

how many days in between 
have I lost?

I Dreamt of You

I dreamt of you
Last night
And woke
With the sweetness of peaches
And bitter perfume
On my tongue

I let myself imagine
     for a moment
that it was you
who warmed my bed.

From what dreams do you wake
(next to another)
While the taste of you
and I ache for
one more kiss?

The Kindness of Strangers

A single tiny sock
decorated with a small flower
at the ankle
adorns the bare branches
of a shrub along
the sidewalk.
Further on
a parti-colored mitten
has been laid atop
the brick border of
a neatly landscaped yard.
It's a simple courtesy.
A way of returning 
fallen belongings
to neighbors
we may never meet.
Some linger 
for weeks
becoming gray and 
but their ownership
is honored
beyond the passage of time.
I imagine
are claimed gratefully.
Beloved bits
joyfully recovered
thanks to
the kindness of strangers.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Just how much
I use my thumb
is being made
after closing the microwave door
on the tender bit
twixt nail
and knuckle.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Scent of Bliss

Were I an alchemist
divining your scent
I would seek out
the essence of
Old books
Decaying maple leaves
Clean damp wool
The bitter bite of stout
To make the fundament.

Rising high above:
Apple blossoms
And their fruit
crisp tart
Would introduce you
girlish and fresh.


The eyes of those
who dared come close
would water faintly
at the sting
of cardamom and chilies.

I imagine you would dab
the silky oil
on those tender spots

adding your musk
So that passersby
who caught your scented trail
might suddenly envision
the dark green loam
of an ancient wood
and fairies cavorting
before the flames.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Your words tangled
in my soul like
a plastic bag 
in a bush.

Years later
I still am marked by
the tattered remnants
of failed love.