Saturday, August 15, 2015


when I was a child
I heard them talk about war
I heard them talk about jobs
and the breadlines
and the poor
they never offered an answer
to my childlike insistence
I made them mad
to make them consistent

I held sparklers once
on the fourth of July”
saluted the flag
with my wide-eyed dolly
and ignored the lies
because I was ignorant
and a child to boot
because I was everywhere
because I was youth

my father never talked
about the war or marriage
only common sense
when he wasn’t enraged
on a coast guard cutter
he radioed intent
happily aboard what was just another
escape from the life
of flaming undercover
he was gay he had a lover
he laughed in a photograph
meant to slip off the tongue
found by me when I was young
he sailed away from the
family of prying
he had no fear of death
he only feared lying

don’t leave your front door
without a pocket full of change
not the coins, not the money
though it spreads a little honey
make a footprint with anger
make  a chapter unholy
pull up the boots
get them used to walking
the war is far off
the explosions are sulking
fireworks limp like I knew they would
share this distress
with the misunderstood

when I was a child
the world was my oyster
the sand not the pearl
the impending disaster
I knew it was mine
this leftover answer
I am not my father
in fearful shadows
I am a grown woman
asking what do I do now

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


For Jo

I felt a lonely crawling up
the road that is my spine
a quest went full and furred with love
became an angry whine
gravel raked my feet in sandals
in graveyards meant for those
whose spines were laid to rest and then
where groundhogs presuppose
a human bends to nature
in the land of spirits gone
a traveler in such tourist’s garb
kneels at a child’s head stone
she has no cause to reminisce
a babe she has not known
dead beneath a worn out stone
I felt a knowing part of her
was somehow as confused as I
by artists dead beneath the fame

by heat and coins and fire
and wandering lonely from
the crowd past graves of them
that once were loud
I felt a lonely crawling up
the road that is my spine
I stopped and took the offer from
my friend who knew I tried
we drank the water
carried on
across the solemn dead
and blistered, tired, map in hand
we forged on ahead