An Old Woman Answers

Ask me my age and I'll tell you to startby counting the smile linescreasing my face;when that’s not enough,the cracks in my heart— sure, you can’t see thembut here in my chestthey ache like broken bonesfor old loves, for all the lost mothers,all the dogs gone; count all my gray hairs,count all my scars—the purple ones, too,where babies once… Continue reading An Old Woman Answers

Election 2020: An Allegory

It was a bloodless kill—the copper hammer barburied like fate and still gripping his flattened neck.One quick snapof an old wooden trap, the word “Victor”painted bright redjust below the spring and the trip hanging loose,the rat hanging dead.His eyes were black as unlit lamps,their fuse burned outin the metal of night just after we twistedthe… Continue reading Election 2020: An Allegory

Something about a Boardwalk

reaching over a salt marshthat invites me to hoverabove the great tangle of earthlike a mote that floatsover the madness. A bit of architecturethe forest offers of itself surrendering its sun-bleachedcedar smell up throughmy pilgrim feet, the perfect warmthof horizontal planksfragrant as the woodin a Swedish sauna whereI huddle naked, small. Here a mallard paddles… Continue reading Something about a Boardwalk

Lesson from a Giant Swallowtail

I've been expecting himsince his mother scatteredhurried shadows overthe orange tree two weeks ago.Still, when it comes, his reveal is sudden as the lightning boltson his velvet wings,the morning mist nearlyconcealing his midnight black,his Fred Astaire elegance. But this is 2020, a yearthat staggers to the endholding its head in its hands,and even his butterflyperfection… Continue reading Lesson from a Giant Swallowtail

Not As Much Need to Sweat from the Fear

Before it was fire, acar accident, a plane crashen route to Australiamade sense to invest with adrenaline,pounding heartbeat, withpersonal sweat andmisguided belief. My worries fed upondistant statistics,remote possibility,apocalyptic, until they approached mewhere the street ends andwere reintroduced asmy long-lost friends dying to meet atthe grocery store,planning to greet whenI breach the bus door, and I… Continue reading Not As Much Need to Sweat from the Fear

My Granddaughter’s Thoughts When She Concentrates

Some arrive with soft wing flapsalighting on her ivory cheek, some are shadows by her mouththat creep to where she bites her lip. Others hide behind eyelidsand wait for blinking to escape. Then the moment when her thoughtsignite like Chinese fireworks— imagination trailing sparks,fired in her radiant smile and scattered like a teacup fullof rubies… Continue reading My Granddaughter’s Thoughts When She Concentrates

Pandemic III: I Dreamed the Pandemic Was Purged

when a storm surged for days off the Mexican Coast and finally breached California shores Old Testament style and flushed our streets with epic amounts of spring clean rain. In the morning epidemiologists reported the virus was last seen in filmy rivers jumping the curbs in San Diego. Oceanographers are saying this event makes history… Continue reading Pandemic III: I Dreamed the Pandemic Was Purged

Despite the Mess of Us All

Today it isn't just the fresh marsh grass that inspires me, each blade bent and turned to glass polished by a quiet rain, or the clouds that race to stay ahead of wind's invisible paintbrush, always loath to strike a pose and every day a masterpiece. It's also the sight of a nest of webs,… Continue reading Despite the Mess of Us All

Pandemic II: Dreams in the Time of COVID-19

My first three teeth fell out last night at Sarah's fortieth birthday party and I mistook them for pebbles or seashells in my jaw and shored them underneath my tongue. I spit them out in two pink flowered paper towels that danced in the powder room and— the sink handed me two more— returned for… Continue reading Pandemic II: Dreams in the Time of COVID-19