May 3 2016

same landscape,
different day

and you cling to the thread of recognition
stitched up your arm proclaiming you

when torn is what you are

not broken

torn and sewn
back together
with the needle
of forgiveness

and these aren’t neat, tiny stitches
these are meant to leave a scar

a mark you’ll wear as badge
as you walk into battle

fragile and crumbling
paper thin





Apr 26 2016


we spend our lives
learning the truth about love

how some days it shares
a pocket with hate

and there is never enough
or too much
or any amount just right

we get all twisted with
lust and false longing

in over our heads
thinking we must choose

there is never a choice
and it all seems so
brittle fragile

strong enough to kill us
strong enough to be there

on a day sixty years and
several winters from freedom

when a heart left hanging
stops beating and we know
we know

the (w)hole
we’ve fallen into





A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month: Day 26
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo, and the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day Challenge
Today’s theme is PAD’s write a love poem, or, write an anti-love poem. Clearly, I couldn’t decide.

Apr 21 2016

shiny and new

and here we are
far past spring
and rusted out

high stepping with
slightly more creak
than strut

these days the
rain never ends
and the wheels

have all stopped
locked in place

by expo-

. . . . . . . . .

(in response to:


from Spring and All (1923)

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

-William Carlos Williams)




A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month: Day 21
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo, and the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day Challenge
Today’s theme is PAD’s write a poem in response to another poem.


Apr 15 2016

tiny moments of wonder, and life

the world is always flat in a photograph and
you draw rings around my heart with saturn fingers

fuchsia only looks gaudy in northern climates
long in the tooth from measured open waiting since

lavish contains every color of unnecessary yet
all i need is a vessel lined with feathers of fortitude

and this paper-torn chance of morning refuge
simper-ripped and recited from the blacklist of night




A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month: Day 15
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo, and the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day Challenge
Today’s theme is a combo of NaPoWriMo’s doubles and PAD’s: use these eight words.


Mar 15 2016

scratching at the surface
of ephemera

Alice holds a doll in tired hands. I want
to smile each time I walk past,
say hello,
but tears always well and my mouth
turns down with the pain
of perpetual forecast.

“This feels like prison,”
someone whispers, and I
don’t think it was me but
old Joe’s eyes dart straight up to mine
and hold me with watery challenge,
though neither one of us knows
who spoke.

I don’t want to walk this gauntlet
disguised as hallway or write
these words
pretending to be poetry,
but here I am
scooting by with my purple sharpie
concealed in one hand.

Hope sits in my purse
next to car keys and kleenex and
crumpled receipts,
though I’ve paid for nothing
and everyone here
will be sure to testify.


Of life and legs
always moving,




to places already been
and never seen.






Mar 10 2016

and the birds return
with the sky

Folding grey in upon itself and shouting color back into the world.

I am listening for grace and finding bits and shards scattered in puddles of mud and the still deep pockets of winter’s coat.

Moving through hard things and surviving them.

Watching lines of geese form arrows of forgiveness. Connecting the dots, but lightly, in pencil, in case I want to start over. Drawing my way through a book named 2016.

Yesterday pretended to be summer and I spent the day with dirty hands and a warm, warm sun, as the mockingbird reinvented his own story. He tells me everything and I laugh in all the right places, knowing we need each other—performer and audience, though I’m never quite sure which is which.

I feel myself growing. Older and lighter, wiser and taller. Heavy-hearted and ever-surprised.

I think about compassion. I think about flowers. I think about endings and beginnings, comings and goings, cycles and seasons.

I think about flight and freedom. I think about the day when both become impossible.

Geese fill the air with a frenzied, raucous melody. Fighting for space and survival. Smoothing ruffled feathers and thinking about dinner, or gravity, or both.

The horizon is always an illusion, marking time on a map filled with moments.

I find my way with blind fingers and broken pencils.

I find a feather in the corner of redemption, and think how floating and falling are simply different speeds to the same destination.

I find benediction.





Mar 8 2016

in the tomb of a room
lined with clarity

i wanted to tell you a story
but all these words
cracked open and bled off the page
all viscous and slippery
and dark with age

i wanted to hold them in the cup
of my oddly-marked palm,
or i wanted to hold you and stand
before that blank cracked distorted mirror
and i’ve forgotten

i wanted to give you something
called everything
but that box always comes up empty
no matter how many times i trap-wrap
and rosette with sincerity

i wanted to line your heart
with soft mirage memories of joy
but there was wool, only wool
all sharp and dry and scratchy
rubbing permanence raw


and again

and the ceiling

the reflection

of holy





Oct 15 2015

hangers on
and hopeful hearts


and the twisting vine

of time

offering no slack

no reprieve

no consolation

but these brief fleeting bits

of astonishing