Friday, September 1, 2017

when the tree guy says six more years

We stare at the pine tree in our yard,

its height and breadth,

from Christmas years ago,

hung ornaments of love and hope.

They say summer is passing,

so we have it trimmed and shaped,

as if we cannot brave the lost, the never to be,

our time shaved down so close.

The cicadas' sound eases the afternoons,

the white noise machine soothes into sleep,

we remember the smell of the sweet sap,

how it stuck to our fingers, close to each other.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

No child left behind

The gaggle of geese honk:
flock gathers for the trip south,
before the autumn chills.
The train nears the crossing:
horn, bell, lights,
warning to clear the tracks.
The boy feels the vibrations:
lying down, waiting
to stop the voices in his head.

His death still unconfirmed, 
the professionals meet the next day
to finalize the boy's school placement.

There is no paperwork they can sign,
no magic they can make,
to breathe life into the boy.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Tension Rising

There's a rattle to her teeth and bones,

in the drum of dogs' toenails on the hardwood floor,

in the click of the old air conditioning,

off and on, fitfully.

Paper cuts her mouth,

fingers twitch to turn pages,

she reads to distraction

from her narrow days.

Sunlight chases between the curtains,




Almost there

Neither tiptoes nor arms straining,
I cannot reach.

Like a fairy tale city
with cobblestones, canals,
centuries-old structures,
in a gray-green haze,

I am on the edge,
I am on edge
to touch
the whispers in the margins
between awake and asleep,
new words,

Sunday, August 6, 2017

2bee or not 2bee

At the start, hopefulness,
sweet as honey,
golden, sticky and 

In the midst, bees buzzing.
The drones attend the Queen,
the females indeed the worker bees,
the brood grows.
Busy, so busy,
the constant beating of wings distracts.

At the end, a noticeable absence of sound.
The muscular arms of time press down,
vision sharpens to the decay,
not a glistening drop left.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Catching trains

The rain soaks,

atonement for the drought.

It pings against the metal canopy,

percussive, syncopated,

cleansing, purifying.

Like a metronome ticks a rhythm,

a melody in a minor key

about sin-tainted souls

and second chances,

running hard

to catch the last train

homeward bound.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


His breakfast smells like ripe tomatoes

and promises,

pledged in youth and romance,

a starter home, a child or two,

a job with promotions and perks,

naive happiness.

We are older, each creak and crack

in the house has a name,

unlike our shadow children.

He works so hard,

by end of day,

face without color, dragging

heavy-footed over the threshold,

listlessness engraved into his bones.

Desire distills into an uneasy


his hand restive in mine,

his shoulder sharp,

I do not hear the word love,

only silence 

and the foundation settling.