Archive for September, 2009

Time Before

Time Before


she remembers much

about the years that

followed that dark night

but not much of the

times before

when he owned his voice,

his leg, his arm, the

day an easy flow


she writes on and on

hoping to conjure

beneath her pen, a

time —


one summer afternoon

in the shaded coolness

of that sycamore

them gathered round

bushel baskets of

butter beans and peas

where she sat watching

his fingers

spread and guide the heart

listening to plob, plob


his pan filling easy

like his Mom’s, his sister’s,

their voices full of

story passing round


of the city girl

fumbling with each pod

trying to catch on

in the beginning


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I stayed

never thought to

leave in the early years

once illness changed who drove,

who rode.

I stayed

couldn’t guess his

meanings, he couldn’t tell me more,

neither of us letting loose the



I stayed

fragile years bundled,

muted intensity

loaded, disparities

born out.


I stayed

familiar now to

fractious fulcrum sway,

questions suspended, unanswered


To own my life,

I stayed.

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At Breakfast


like brier patch entanglements

caught again

counterfeit conversation

wafting round

abrading repetition

degrading gossip

loneliness stabbing me

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past the memory
of that rendering I paint
of ancient accolades,
once upon a times

beyond the heartache
of that dream denied,
of the load heaped
and carried still

across the threshold
of the sun’s new rounding
coming fast again
to shed a radiant glow

sufficient to entice
the early sparrows
flighty in their chirps
outside the window

I am opening, to invite
light enough to write
of those weighted years
that leg drag limp, how

to balance without a voice
to clear confusion from the air,
dismantle argument or
amplify affection’s tone.

Now past the length of dread,
past letting go of understanding
past the point of holding back,
so much waiting to be said.

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You are so far away. 

If not for distance, 

miles and water separating,
there would still be time



calling for departure,

leaving me to walk

into the fading light.


 You are so far away 


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Halftime in Midfield

I loved Friday nights and football games, played
in cold or rain. Still we twirled and strutted
to feet stomping metal bleachers, cheers, their hands
hugging cups of steam, coco wafting, arms
curling round this week’s special friend, watching

us, a length of line fronting clarinets,
flutes, fat tuba spins, all stepping to drums
holding us in time reverberations,
believing we are a compelling sight,
in that glare of light, yet so unaware.

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On His Turf

On His Turf


I overheard the neighbored reprimand my Dad


Those kids playing

will ruin your lush lawn


I saw dad’s laugh dispel the shadow


 We’re not growing grass

We’re raising girls


I didn’t hear what followed

only knew that I stood taller

  bare feet planted in thick comfort

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