Posts for June 22, 2021


A Piglet for Rose

Sweet tender piglet 
held in your arms
worry gone from your face

So unfair sickness
landed on you
while on vacation at
Dutch Creek Farm Amish Petting Zoo
Zorses, Zonkies, and Zebras
watch you sniffle and sneeze

In the car we talk about
how it was sad
some beasts
dirty, mangy, lackluster
yet there was tiny Wilber 
precious piggy 
asleep on your shoulder 
smile on his face



needle in my arm
hopes to discover what’s there
life force or poison



In January 2020, weeks passed
restless death 
the water moved 
heron you came to visit,
paced the dock, watching,
one, that sat in the middle
you knew,  
my eyes would only know
this precence 
asking to stick my face
to the sun


Home Delivery

there was this scene
in almost every good
eighties movie I had
illegally copied on VHS
where the audience
is looking into a house
where you can tell money
is a little tighter that most
but everyone is home
so the parents have bought
a pizza that a million
children swarm around
and devour 

I can count on my hands
how many times that happened
to me when I was at my father’s
we’d eat and watch
teenage mutant ninja turtles
for the one hundredth time
while he drank way too much
and my stepmother did whatever
all the while I knew it wasn’t 
my home
although all the kids stayed
when I left
neither of my parents
could handle whatever thing
I was

tonight standing in my own kitchen
handing plates of pizza
that we shouldn’t have ordered 
to five of the six kids we have
for a moment I could see us all
through one of our windows
like those movies
all loved
all wanted



When you showed up at my door frantic that I’d left work 
and you 
behind — teeth-clenched hours spent hashing out why it should end
or shouldn’t
making promises to remain colleagues and friends
but nothing more,
we sealed our pledge with a final searing kiss.

Yet as I pulled away,
your lips whispered a resignation against my forehead,
“Still… you give me chills.”
I stared into my lap mumbling apologies,
but your calloused hand 
lifted my chin to stare into creek-blue eyes
and reassured me 
those chills meant you were still alive.

Nevertheless an afternoon spent on good intentions,
I knew we were far from over.


a didactic cinquain for the serpent found in my kitchen

slender, sinuous
slither, spiral, signify
shit in my cast iron skillet


The Wheel

                                              -For Josh and Tish

You left the East to head out West
And face a different clime
Behind were friends and family
Some thought you’d lost your minds

Undaunted by a brave new world
The likes you’d never known
Like true Americans of the past
You made the land your own

With Fina as your trusted guide
The trip was trippy, man
The ups and downs and lefts and rights
No bfd in Vanagan

The prairie songs from wheat, like harps
Played tunes so true and light
You blew right through the Midwest heart
Aimed for Portland’s spangled nights

Instead of folding up your dreams
Those dreams unfolded you
Loves and life thought left behind
Became all shiny new

The wheel spun down then back around
When destiny you faced
By reaching out to spin again
You realized, you’re safe

Your saga, dearest boy and girl,
Has only just begun
You’ll dance and love, grow and twirl
Silver Scherezades in misty sun


Launch Sequence

Everyone is so prudish; it’s hard to be modest if you grew up in a three-room house
with four sisters, a mother and a grabby stepfather-
an averted gaze might be the best you got, but a direct stare was more likely.  

When my one of my granddaughters was little, she always wanted to hang out with older people – we would try to shoo her away so that the adults could talk, but she crept in around the edges, so I just carried on as usual and we got used to her.  

She liked to sit with me while I got dressed but would shyly look in her lap. I was on the young side for a grandmother, with a figure that would knock your eyes out, even then.
It wasn’t for nothing I was approached by Playboy; 36-24-36…
but I told them, “absolutely not. “  

She was amazed by my girdle, my powder, my routines of morning and evening, and kept all my empty jars. I showed her how to put on a bra, you must bend at the waist and wrestle the breast tissue into the cups, then pop up and cinch the straps to heave the girls up for the best view. This made her giggle; when she was older, I mailed her one of my black “bullet bras” from the 50’s with no explanation, I knew she would get the joke.

I had an older friend visit for a few days when my granddaughter was about 10; I told her Ms. Lily was upstairs and she pounded up to find her aged form naked, waltzing from the shower to the bedroom. She didn’t bat an eye and chatted away while the girl looked everywhere but at her, and finally managed to disengage to flee for the playground; Lily told me later “I scared that child to death.”  

She must have grown up in close quarters, too.



i hate

       the feeling

              that pit in

                     your stomach

                            when you spiral

                                   because something

                            out of your control

                     (the feelings of

              other people)

       made you


       whether or

              not they’re

                     even okay

                             or if they’re

                                    upset with you

                             or mad at you







i swear to god that soon i’ll
write an insightful commentary
on the two nights we spent
drunkenly mingling with
my girlfriend’s mom and fiancé and all their
rich and established friends,
drinking wine we can’t afford
and listening to them
rich-ly and established-ly
rant about things that
they’ll never tell their spouse,

but, for now,
all i can think is 

middle-aged conservatives are
so fucking hilarious to be around when they’re