Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Swim

A calcified valve

is what years without tears

will make


I look down at my own toes

and notice that they are

slowly turning to stone


I know that sand 

running through your veins

will wear away all the rough edges


We share jokes

that can only be heard 

in the dark


The same dark 

makes the living feel frozen

and I am just a snowflake 


Walk this life

between vapor and ice

swim for as long as you can

Friday, February 5, 2021

Bury the Hatchet

Snow tires rest on my head

Holes in my socks 

from sweeping the floor

No roads are open today 


Labor is for the outside 

Shoveling the path

Knitting a sweater

Frying an egg


The words are right there 

just floating in the air

like big, slow, soft flakes

that melt on your tongue


Poetry is for the inside

Bury the hatchet 

Find the biggest hill you can climb

Close your eyes and throw your hands up

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

My mother has beautiful bone structure 

I can see it

with every pound she loses

Her skull reveals itself 

bones pushing against her skin from the inside

Temporal ridges connect to her cheekbones 

which connect to her jaw 

which connects to the outlines of her dentures 

Her eyes peer out

wide and strong

shining silver 

like dancing ghosts

saying I know my body is shrinking 

but I will never die


I know she is scared of death

but she has never been scared of life

We all wish for swift and painless 

but death is rarely fast

Just like birth

from the beginning

we watch the soft curves

of the abdomen grow

physically appearing 

And in the end 

we watch the soft skin

wrinkle and thin

The body withers and waifs

physically disappearing 


No one should have to disappear 

before they have to

Good girls read faces like manuscripts

staying one step ahead

to avoid whatever wrath of disapproval awaits

Good boys become the familiars

of their fathers

mimicking postures and performance

to avoid whatever wrath of disapproval awaits

Burning both sides 

of this generations coin

Enabling the power dynamics

of our ancestors 

to continue to dance


Wrapping my arms 

around my 9 year old nephew 

and my 60 year old mother

is not much different 

The size of my embrace 

and the caress of delicate ribs

feels about the same

My panic to adequately 

express my love 

wells up in my throat

and the strength of my bear hug 

is fought

by the squirm of youth

or the fragility of frail


I grew up fighting fierce hugs from my mother 

Her tight grip

never ready to let go 

But now that her strength is less

I fill with regret 

Squirming in my youth

Always being the first to pull away 

But now all I want to do is reach

And uplift

And encourage 

And show  

my nephew

that she can stop shrinking

for everyone else.  


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Friday, September 18, 2020