Posts for June 9, 2021


Blue Mondays

Seven two-dimensional torsos            
            pandemic-best wrinkles-in-time            
            Zoom across the Atlantic            
            stitch a poetry habit
One German, one Ukrainian, one Appalachian, and four Irish underpin
kinship in song and verse            

Ada out-of-tune with guitar, sings in-tune truth-telling tones,
two decades into living, war on her doorstep
Catherine sings laughter and penetrating heart-break,
mother of three teenagers—is there not a special god for this?  
John sings appoggiatura lands us in the heart of the matter:
Bah-gawk! Blessed is he amongst us woman
Mags sings slides, dips, growls loss and despair,
multi-instrumentalist songwriter, thieved against
Margaret sings for us to define which side we stand
with, seventy-year-old blue-scarfed freedom
Sue sings the subtleties of blue: bruised and battered
raised and redeemed, brain-injured brilliance
Pam, battle weary warrior, sings her nomadic color
stitches to Blue Mondays, the best kind of blue


after the fire

m1 ma?]ladies and curses upon his h[ouse
       f?]or the way in which he treated[
       s]hould have never let him in my[
       a]nd furthermore I will never all[ow?
       ]er what he said to her! I can’t s[t?


m2  ]n you [c. 4] forgive him for the wa[y?


m1 m?][[aybe I can]]


Jane Eyre

jane, heart of my heart
plain as you are
draw, the face of light
you are not,
a machine without feeling’s
in the devil’s room, you sit
with locks on all the doors
in the man’s gaze, you stand,
when spiteful they come
to and unpleasant end
hard hearted, but
you are a grateful rose,
plain and silent as you are,  


questions of complacency

where do dreams go
when there’s no room
to manifest

what happens to birthright
when unhinged from the 

are we truly confused by the
radical nature of

how can love rise
if everyone is


Corrective Surgery

I arrived in late June with a wheelchair,
and it took a vicious bite out of your leg
on one of our first walks out- the uneven
sidewalk and curb conspired. 
I didn’t know your own surgeries made it hard
 to lift me or maneuver my chair.

The goal was for me to be able to walk
by the time school started, so you
encouraged me to try more on the crutches.
The casts only reached my ankles now,
so you bought me jaunty blue sneakers,
with rainbows.

The last casts were removable-
you took them off my withered legs 
and slid me into your friend’s backyard pool.
It felt so amazing to stand in the water,
to move my legs and really kick.
I didn’t know you never really learned to swim, until then.

I thought the shoes didn’t go with my dress,
but they did allow me to walk to church with Pops.
For some reason, you stayed home
and were so proud I had “gone all that way,”
I am not sure he told you he carried me for most of it.


My Fear

A response to “Your Fear” by Leatha Kendrick

I believed it was my armor, my protection
never seeing in my reflection the wide-eyed, skittish
animal I was. And too, the fear was mine
when all else had been taken. I vowed

not to forsake it, in some deep part of me that needed
something, anything, to trust. Yet building
walls left shadowed halls inside that never felt the sun,
and I am done with that dark living. First step,

forgiving myself for holding on so long.
Next, to walk this living edge of mystery—
on one side the tragic truth of misery,
on the other, joy, light as angels’ wings.
A bright blaze sings along this path—the sun

in whose light, all fear has dissipated.
My heart now claims both sides as sacred.


Root Traffic

Tree hugger will be composted
so the roots can love them back,
flossing with their carcass
but keeping the bones
as a bedside relic.


To the Belly Dancer I Never Met

Every woman I meet seems named Cathy with a C
or Kathy with a K
I went to your service

Silent Mormons sat in the front row
you had signed the Book
so they found you

Your earthly husband
mine now
sat still as a stele
a few rows back with me
And I
And I
wanted to belly dance
before your urn

possessed by music you’d left
Egyptian and Turkish dances
the doumbek calling me, the zils
I found in your silk purse
between my fingers, where
is my menit-necklace, my sistram?

Your dances too precious to just toss.
No woman would have so many, so many
if not for love


Page turner

It keeps coming
Water pellets rapping at the head
change and rain are imminent
Pink polkadot umbrellas &
Sunny smiles
Thwart the onslaught
But crack open the book 
and dreary thoughts like 3 day rains
seep in
Threatening to shatter
comfort, security (or false sense of)
A flood swells
ready to lift the unwilling onto a new page


across the counter

she wore a crisp yellow shirt
folded just the wrong way
dotted with coffee stains

her hair was dyed an elegant blond
tucked haphazardly under her hat
with a brim too wide for her face

her nails boasted a fresh manicure
“i wore acrylics for thirty years,” she told me
“my nails are too thin for that now”

her left ring finger showcased a giant diamond
yet she complained spending $13 
on a quart of ice cream for her husband