Poetry & More
It was a beautiful morning.
How can I live without my Florence?
The entry from Helen’s journal, March 21, 1924, the day her daughter Florence died.
The sky was grey flannel.
Twigs and a sparrow rushed
along by the brilliant gale.
From the outside,
I was the figure crouched
over a bed holding a dove.
Her breath burned red in the room.
Her end was as bright
and new as feathered gold.
Then, I was the woman unable to stand.
Fly Away Home
Solitude ripples the pond,
May becomes June.
Swarms of ladybugs, orbits
of vermillion, drift in
the opulence of air. This place
the beavers, not humans,
have mastered. Abandoned
hedgerows and meadows.
I think of the tenderness in this world
when someone shares your sorrow:
your house is on fire
your children are gone.
The dotted masses billow and float
toward the maple woods:
Fly away. Fly away home.
Poems From Other Publications
a Japanese White Eye in her nest sings
her world together in strands
the metallurgy of morning
copper sky, ocher sea from last night’s storm
tinny sounds of traffic on the lower road
the mind arranges like a Mozart chord
nothing budges, a hush of grace says:
write it down
Voce Piena December 2004
Café Verona at 8 AM
A tired espresso machine grinds
at the back counter. Niveous foam
runs down the edge of my thick-rimmed cup.
Over there, a chair scrapes against a wall,
a business suit leaves in a rustle
of New York Times. Laptops ignore each other.
Tomorrow will be the same tables of anonymity.
My body here so soft, so alive, so determined
to disappear. Raisiny, blueberry smells and caffeine
drawing me forward like a morning compass.
Afternoon in a Women’s Jail
After she’s out, maybe she’ll paint
her walls purple, bright as her son’s
name tattooed on her arm. Salvador.
She’ll bake pies and love the cinnamon heat
in her kitchen. Walk to Key Market
on 5th Street for menudo and tease the butcher.
She’ll work someplace, maybe buy a teacup
and sit on a stoop some night with a man.
Not Salvador. Someone who likes heat.
Make coffee with real cream.
Wear shoes with straw wedges. Dance
to Aretha (who can tease with the best of them).
None of her poems rhymed but she filled pages
with longing when I read Emily Dickinson to her —
another life mostly spent alone in a room.
By & By Poetry October 2015
A Clock Ticks Without Mercy at 3 AM
My mind’s a nest I weave
with bits of debris from everyone’s life.
Worry, my rapturous companion:
When will the drought end,
bless the bony sidewalks,
find the parched arches?
My grandchildren sent out
without their coats, and bedtime
is bedtime plus an hour.
My left ventricle is shrinking,
must face a full winter, pump
harder under my breast bone.
My heart beats over my lover’s breathing.
I could live like this for years:
pump wonder pump wonder pump wonder.
By & By Poetry 2015