Posts for June 8, 2021


Poetry of the Mundane

Half a life ago, I found poetry 
Now, I struggle and strain to find it

Putting words in poetry sized shapes
doesn’t always make them poems.

The routines of life
have put my soul to sleep.
There are no children in my everyday life
to remind me of the wonder
that is life.
The teenagers I teach
possibly more jaded than I.

On my walk back from my mailbox this evening,
the clouds hung low enough I thought I 
could reach up and run my fingers through them.

So many hues of pink streaked across the sky–
rose, blush, coral, rose, and peach.

The frighteningly-sized bug
hovering at the flowers
on my neighbor’s balcony
turned out to be 
a flitting hummingbird instead.



i’ve rotted in eight bedrooms
in five houses and three apartments, 
over four cities and two states, 
eating twenty four years and seven boyfriends.

i’ve gone moldy in sheets 
and damp on desk chairs, 
i’ve grown mushrooms under fingernails 
and mildew between molars. 

voyer to the rotting girls,
watch their knees and elbows go green and furry
as they sculpt hollows in their mattresses 
and cracks of silence against morning bird calls.



Dair did not have a toothbrush 
until the  County Health Department
sent one home with all of the kids-
she was in the 4th grade.

She grew up without
even an outhouse – they just
“shit right out there on the hillside”-
the luxurious privy came later.

Christmas was acknowledged
with bright hard candies doled out
maybe an extra pie, and little else.

They “did not notice The Depression”
as they  “were always that poor.”

I don’t understand where her
refinement and gracious attitude came from.
China bought one piece at a time.
Full glass candy dishes, all the time.

Her evening beauty routine
would rival royalty ,
her cooking and  flowers
were legendary.

I would like to have a sliver of
her dedication to beauty and order,
of beds made up “the right way;”
brights against brights and washed every week.

Always enough, and more than enough.


sheltered at home

apathetic to her own voice
fatigued by repetition
bored on bended knee

her lips worth more  than
haunts of confession & regret

the only one in the room
the wrangle in her head
the ennui of isolation

fruit of nuanced glance
electricity of impending risk


Inches Apart

Laying on the hood

The sprinkle of the rain hits our face

We talk about love,

How I love you

And you might love me,

We laugh too loud

At dumb jokes

We say we gotta go home

And stay for another 30

You dance with two left feet

We scream songs to each other

Inches apart,
Yet so far,

Then say goodnight


eighth day of june

he said i love you to me today
then he cried

i knew it was coming 
the one before said it, too
but only when half apologies 
were being dealt out 

he said i love you to me today
and for the first time
i said it back to someone
because i felt it, too
not because it’s just what you do 


50/50 is better than nothing

To trust someone is an addiction 
A gamble
A hope for lust to possibly ending in unrequited love
And somehow I will always take the risk 
…To see what my odds have in favor


Home Keys

I remember two things 
From high school typing class
asdf  jkl;
Eric Boling

He caught my eye
The moment he was 
Called to the
Principal’s office

He was my first 
Troubled boy
After him
I collected 
Lost souls
Like seashells

His cavernous smile
Could have swallowed
Me whole
I would have complied

His mirror balls eyes
Illuminated all in their path
I would melt
When they shone on me

He was making out 
In the dugout
Angsty poetry and Camel Lights
Pink Floyd and
Midnight drives with the headlights off
To scare me into his arms

Sweetness and danger
Sheepish deviance
Irresistible Eric

He was my first heartbreak
Though no one 
Has ever
Let me down
So gently 

In my mind
He remains
The shy, kind
Teenage boy

No more

“Shine on you crazy diamond…”



What does sixty-five years look like?
A 17 year old and a 24 year old 
in a small presbyterian church, 1956,
make a promise they keep –
years in New York, they later bring back
three daughters to small town, Kentucky –
a full time teaching job and
a house to be built-
raising a family on love and
the comfort of knowing that home
is a place where hands made everything,
from floors to rooms to 
canned green beans and jam –
to every beautiful dress each child owned.
What does sixty-five years look like?
Summer trips to New York family,
fireflies caught in mason jars
around a fire built for canning food
and a sky full of twinkling stars,
summer teaching jobs and weekend
work at a dairy bar to purchase
a stove, a washer, a car,
three daughters sent to college.
What does sixty-five years look like?
Seven grandchildren, homemade
birthday cakes, Thanksgiving meals
and porch swing full of children
celebrating a 4th of July birthday,
leaving the hand-built home to
be closer to those grandchildren.
Open heart surgeries, breast cancer
and hip replacements, an anniversary
spent in the hospital.
So many years of memories, 
the scent of each other always present
the comfort of a hand-
and now, sixty-five years looks like
rubbing lotion on her face,
cleaning her after an accident,
brushing her teeth,
feeding her tenderly with a spoon,
holding the glass of juice to her lips,
he remembers for them both.

For the two who made me.
by Kelly Waterbury


Life of a Cat

My cat has it easy.
What does he have to do in a day
other than eat and lounge about?

He has no commitments,
no deadlines hanging
over his furry little head.

Sure, he misses out 
on opposable thumbs 
and complex thought,
but he doesn’t seem to mind.

After all,
you never see a cat
jealous of how easy humans have it.