Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday on the Little Spokane

The deer, their coats matted and brown,
will not stay.
They risk the road instead.
The turkey turns his back,
is deliberate,
spreads his feathers.
The river pushes past,
smug with forward motion.
Its grasses press down,
stay low,
feign indifference.
The meadow
is heavy
with still water,
winter’s unwanted remains.
She assents.
She contains.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An explanation

I will go again
to be
among the broken
who see
a fault as happy
a blemish as necessary
brings murky

Monday, April 18, 2011


"Woman with crossed arms" Picasso

A thousand small hurts
tenderly tied with ribbon
of sharp rusty wire

alone in the dark
unopened and indignant
plot quiet revenge

This prompt is loosely based on one or more of this week's prompts at Big Tent Poetry.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


From the beginning

your hands moved with the instinct

of the second born son,

first banging on me from the inside,

so I wouldn't forget you were coming.

Then reaching out in welcome,

like happy baseball mitts, clapping.

Or balled up into fists,

pushing hard against me,

while simultaneously


on sleeping right beside me.

Your hands took no prisoners,

even in peekaboo,

but always pointed just in time

to the full blue pools of your eyes,

or the perfect curve of your dimples--

smart hands!

And they felt so right

resting in mine,

but too often I had to drag them from behind--

the plight of the second child:

never enough sleep,

never enough time.

But now your grown hands strum your guitar,

and I can't remember the last time

your hands reached

for me.

But I want you to know

that you have always had me

head over heels,

out of my mind

in love.

My hands

will always miss yours

wanting mine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Status Update

When you text your friends

under the desk in my class

I can still see you

Your smart phone does not

make you invisible, dude

there's no app for that

When spring comes

Snow melts and each word

from sputtering angry lips

melts into tulips

This kind of follows one of this week's prompt's from Big Tent Poetry. I'm having to resort to Haiku to keep this thing going!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For Colleen

On the day we met,

I was struck by two things:

how your face opened up

like a book of kindness

and how completely in tune you were

with your own body.

You were confidence in motion.

I was in awe.

And my brother was in love.

And each day since then,

you have been

the sister of my heart,

a gift to my family.

Time and again,

I have seen

how you harness seamless energy

of mind, body, spirit:

on the basketball court,

on the dance floor,

Even in the throes of labor,

when you reached down

and delivered your own son

from your own body--

one of the most beautiful things

I have ever seen.

And so it seemed impossible

that the words breast cancer

belonged anywhere near your name.

A cruel incongruity.

A ridiculous mistake.

And I wouldn't have blamed you

if you had slammed that beautiful,

open, kind face

shut for a while.

But you didn't.

You wrote your story for all to read.

And you triumphed--

through surgery and radiation and fatigue

and teaching and mothering.

You came out cancer free!

And I just wanted to tell you

how grateful I am,

and how beautiful you are,

and how much I love you.

My sister,

my hero,

my friend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


It's not true that April enrages me.

I reserve my violent emotions for March,

that drunken bastard who stays too long,

and spews sloppy snow all over my shoes,

and slushes himself all over my lawn.

No, by the time April arrives,

I am done.

I am spent.

I'm too tired to shake my fist at an April sky.

March has worn me down,

softened me up,

so that by the time April comes round,

All he has to do is show me some tulips,

And just like that--




This was written in response to Big Tent Poetry's prompt that asked us to start a poem with "It's not true that..."

Monday, April 11, 2011



of memory, the genius

of pain. The body

bends too easily

to accommodate.

The psyche

promptly imitates

such hospitality

of nerves and tissue and ligament,

thus completing

the fallacy.

The self detects no deceit.

Intruder becomes

pampered guest




most cruel of all--


Sunday, April 10, 2011


Well, life has been catching up to me and catching me from behind. I had planned to do 30 poems in 30 days for NaPoWriMo, like I did for the past two years, but instead I will be doing 21 poems in 21 days, starting today!

I dreamed

I was nothing

but solid stone

in the middle of the river's constant flow

I stayed put

through flooding, draining

snowing, raining,

rushing, lapping

sediment and clarity--

was all the same to me

I was the perfect answer

to perpetual motion

I was still

But the dream did not last

long enough

for me to know

what it was I felt





and whether it was enough

to observe

but not witness

to be carved

so slowly

as to never