Sunday, October 11, 2015

After a dry spell, finally the rain

At breakfast today

In late fall, the yard appears stripped
of color until the hummingbird’s
scarlet throat catches the just-right
light of morning.

We breakfast together now and again.
I with my ceramic mug, she with
her plastic petals. Yesterday she found
the last passion flower on the vine
and spent some time in the rafters.

Below us, the discarded leaves of the
apple tree spend the day softening
only to freeze again overnight.
And I am reminded of the futility 
in trying to forget.

Only the Anna’s can hang on to nothing
at all—the figure eight of her wings
propelling her backward and forward,
her seed-sized heart beating laps
around mine. 

At breakfast today, she gives:
I remember you again.  

Full Circle

There hadn’t been wolves in the valley meadow
for decades, but lately signs: scat on the driveway
to the grandfather cabin, the mauled hoof of a deer,
tufts of grey fur in the dry grass. Of course I wanted
to see. Always the yearning. It doesn’t heed.

Often it takes years for one desire to come full
circle. Take for instance the kiss in the meadow,
when the grass bent down before our backs
just as the sun began to sink behind the hills—
and I discovered I no longer wanted what I finally had.

How do we keep anything sacred? As we pulled
into the drive, the wolf pups scattered in every
direction, each a different shade of grey or brown
against the golden meadow. Later, the mother
came across the field as if blind to us.

I too don’t see everything in front of me for
what it is. Only since I left have I thought
of  you a million times. When our eyes met,
she froze in fear, then trotted off down the creek.
All night she howled for her pups.

I don’t sleep because I did that to her. I lay awake
and think: maybe I can love more. Maybe I can
be better in a multitude of ways.


After the initial shock of the alarm,
the body’s rustling groan,
it’s the ritual of morning that I love:
the lather of soap,
the rinse of hot water,
the smear of mascara.

I love the sound of water just
beginning to boil, and the precision
in preparing coffee: three scoops, 
pour, four minutes, press.
Five minutes to cool before
the first bitter taste on my tongue.

But most of all, the dependability
of morning: it always comes.
I step outside and the air welcomes
me with relief. Another day.
Another chance to get it right.

Monday, September 30, 2013

last day of september poem

The lucidity of rain

And now the rains have come.
Every time we step outside,
the sky sobs.

Walking from the restaurant to the car,
rain spills down your jacket
and into the pockets of your jeans.

And I, carrying a sensitivity especially sharp
after the second glass of wine,
feel envious of the lucidity of rain.

How clever, the unruliness of this world.
For hours after you leave, your pockets
will remain damp, but not soiled.

A way to hold on
only water knows. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

for C

at night, with you

I grow another set of legs.
Arms. A second pair of lungs.
Larger, I can do anything better.

My new heart—it pulses
against an old shoulder blade,
telling last hurt something
spectacular, like:
How do I keep you.

Morning brings several
amputations. Whose hands
am I left with? Mine or yours? 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Woke up this morning with
a terrific urge to lie in bed all day
and read. Fought against it for a minute.

Then looked out the window at the rain.
And gave over. Put myself entirely
in the keep of this rainy morning.

Would I live my life over again?
Make the same unforgiveable mistakes?
Yes, given half a chance. Yes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I am twenty-five and I’ve moved
back in with my parents

My father follows me around
the house, turning off lights.
Tonight he is organizing things
in jars: pine cones of varying sizes,
wooden spools of thread, antique
buttons, clear marbles and pieces
of shell. When I was a girl we
scoured beaches for agates, pumice,
and smooth flat rocks. Driftwood
shaped like the spread wings
of geese. Anything we could see through.
Now the shelves where I sleep
are lined with jars. Wheat pennies
and wine bottle corks. Fourth of July
buttons, and the rubber wheels
of Matchbox cars.  I am fond
of the small celluloid cows
and sheep. I know how it hurts
to lose.  Save everything.