Monday, July 24, 2017


He works so hard,

by end of day,

face without color, dragging

heavy-footed over the threshold,

listlessness engraved into his bones.

He plunges into deep sleep,

no fidget to limbs, no twitch of lips.

Yet his spirit, restless,

presses against walls, windows,


I gently touch him for warmth,

fearing ----

I am not ready to release his hand,

taken light-heartedly years ago,

I am not ready to let him go.

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 labors six days a week, 

face ashen, feet dragging.

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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Harsh lessons

The boy with teacup ears

hears their hurtful words,

needles against his eardrums.

He fears he will drown in salty water,

he sinks into their fists and feet,

he cannot shape a word, cannot snag a breath,

their laughter crushes him, a huge wave

too high, too heavy.

He learns not to trust a hand in friendship,

he learns to retaliate against the bullies,

he learns his bitterness leaves bruises, 

some deep within.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Games we play

The merry-go-round spins

the carnival music galops,

take a chance at the midway,

in the ether of magic and fantasy.

Two strangers cross,

sidelong glances,

splinters of truth among lies,

light on their tongues. 

They spin their loneliness into chatter,

hesitation into the sweat of aimless circles;

at evening's end, the carney calls, 

"all out, all over." 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Faith and hope

Passed from hand to hand,

the quilt is bleached,

worn, stitches loosening.

Like faith in god,

once bright, strong,

turns tarnished, thinned

by illness, partings,

death, loveless lives.

When callous time halts,

we cling

to random threads of hope.

Friday, May 5, 2017


She scans the albums,

images from another time,

when the ticks were even,

like a metronome,

when her heart did not skip,

in rhythm.

Now a stark photo in black and white,

bold print,

her daughter,

one of the missing.

They say over 600 open cases,

mouths full of paper excuses

and stale sympathy,

no comfort to her,

a life of uncertainties,

too few to count.

*April 29, 2017 was declared "Missing Persons Day" by Gov. Terry McAuliffe
of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

When the magic fades...

The gazing ball promises good luck

to those who tend the garden,

the poet chooses her words carefully,

with her muse.

Time passes, the magic becomes random,


weeds sprout wild, choke blooms,

the poet challenged to fashion bouquets

of such rough greenery.