birthday eve

on the eve of my 73rd birthday
i’d like us to be on a swing —
gliding back and forth
hands clasped together tight,
looking up into the endless sky
counting memories in stars.

for now on eve of 28,
our worn brown couch will do.



this was wild and new
crunch of freshly fallen snow
exciting,  fresh,  sweet

secrets revealed in slight dishonesty
blinded by the sun still
streaking through the clouds

drifting slowly farther
away from the coast —
not quite ready for a life raft
but sure the shore too far

derisive laughter: a secret language —
little conversation without condescension
a delicate dance toeing the line
between delusion and reality

falling face first forward —
snow once shallow
deep enough now
to swallow me whole

in response to B+


sailors learn to be conscious of the tides
and all the elements by which the tides are influenced
because if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail;
but what are sea people to do when
the long spindly suckered tentacles of kraken
reach up and out of the deep dark depths
winding themselves around the lungs of the ship
suffocating her from the outside in
pulling her under the currents
of which they were so allegiant and abiding?

in response to Sink or Swim


you took my hand in yours
and lead me slowly to the edge
of the water

our walk was deliberate and planned
unbeknownst to me who assumed
walking was enough

happenstance was never our path —

i gazed thoughtfully into
the depths of the bright blue water;
at the fragmented sunlight dancing beneath

in the brief moment when the breeze
brought my attention afar to rustling pines
you pushed me, hard and fast, into the depths

compassion was never your virtue —

in response to Sink or Swim


privileged perspective
blankets like snow
                           and white
   the roots
   the soil
   the rocks
   the bugs
   the minerals
and all the creatures
big and small
that make our earth


the worst thing for a woman to be
is any of the following:

because to be any of these is to be

in terms of self preservation —

maybe there is safety in

for pop

you sit
frail and curved —
in the chair that was yours;
every christmas
every birthday
there you were —
participating silently
with your smiling soft
baby blues by merely listening

but now i know your story;
and watching us all just be
was your way of reaping the benefits
of a family life you longed for
of a comfortable life hard earned

but here and now
you are misplaced
among the living —

and as the minutes tick by
your wispy grey begins to blend
in with the dirty blondes of your youth as
wrinkles cease to be experience markers
and in their place
a fresh face yet to show its age
with lines and crevices and
your spine straightens out
and you sit straight and bold and strong once more
firm and solid muscles return
arms with the strength to apprehend a boisterous criminal
and the gentleness to comfort the littlest of people
with the littlest tears —
your stature a harbinger of protection and love

but you are now a man i do not recognize
for i never knew you in the year
in which you now reside —
you are you
at 22

and you know me
and you smile
and you wait

but i know what must be done —

your granddaughter
fetches her father: your son
and we say
                            you cannot stay
for we want you to, desperately,
                                                    but as the rivers return to sea
and as a happy life brings happy sleep
it is time for you to go

without fight and
without fear and
without argument
the thinnest of smiles
creeps across your lips and
understanding flashes
behind your gaze
you say
i will go.
you say
and just like that ,
a plume of smoke —
and your chair is empty