Feb 25 2016

a frozen heart
at the center of expansion

She bent down to pick the cat up and tweaked her back again. Another reminder of age, or humanity, or carelessness. She’d never quite mastered the art of physicality, ever clumsy, always stumbling.

Bumbling through life.

Even so, her mind was always dancing, one minute tango and the next ballet, one day a waltz and at night, samba. But it all looked like shuffling to the world outside her body, and she heard the sky’s mocking whispers, even as she pretended ignorance.

Her mom had told her once she was a diamond in the rough, and she’d snorted at that one. She knew what rocks looked like, and what they felt like, too, hitting her body as she cowered in the schoolyard.


That’s the way she’d felt her whole life, and she laughed at the word as she stood at the counter, dishing cat food onto plates from gnarled fingers as she held herself steady on crooked hips. Her mind, flying free, knew it wasn’t true, but even so, her body went still for a moment, long enough to feel the cold seeping up through the floorboards, long enough to see her silhouette blocked out on the back wall, long enough to view the hole that bloomed in the center of her chest.

She talked to her shadow that morning. Sang to it, really. Songs about love and disappointment and remembering. She stood still as the sun shone through the window, through her body, through her music.

the grey cat melted
and stretched in light’s warm puddle
spreading claws and hours

In time.

Feb 23 2016

on the morning
of the falling pink moon

she walked to the end of a drive half frozen
and stood beneath the tallest tree

a single crow announced her presence
in a tone of calm resentment

and the smile on her face grew wider
than the patchwork quilt of magic

wrapped around
one fragile


in the pine
the mockingbird whistled

cat-call face-small arbitration
filling the air between them

earth moved by tender greeting
recognition repetition new rendition

as the wind attempted to whisper-woo
a smear of color from the bone

of each white cheek




Join us over at dVerse Poets where we are honoring the passing of Harper Lee
with a prompt to write a narrative poem.


Feb 18 2016

let me think

I spend hours each day doing nothing but thinking of things I should be doing. Because February is a time-thief and I forgot, yet again, to lock those oh-so-precious hours away somewhere safe. I forgot because February is also a memory-thief, and a whine-maker.

And my body refuses to do anything but semi-hibernate.

My mind burrows deeper into the cocoon of warmth, refusing to venture out unless there’s sun. Unfortunately, February and the sun are barely acquainted, even though I am forever inviting them to come for tea, sit at the table, get to know each other better. I even make cookies. But somehow wires always get crossed and they show up separately, alone, too late or too early, and me, my tea, and the table watch snow fall and birds struggle and ice form. And, of course, it’s all beautiful, because otherwise, how could we survive?

By now you can tell I have nothing to say, really. Words spin through my mind in a storm of tease, and mostly, I ignore them. I have things to do, or rather, things to think about doing. I cook and eat, sleep and read, work and build fires. I leave my house more often than I used to, because there are people I love to help care for. I do that at least. Care.

It’s Leap Year. I wonder how it is that we couldn’t somehow manage to add that extra day into June, or October? Still, an extra 24 hours is always something to celebrate. Also, it will be the last day of February, so there’s that.

Also, there’s politics. Everywhere I turn, there’s politics. I have so much to say that I just keep quiet. It’s a parade (charade?) I can’t look away from. Mother Nature seems so tame in comparison.

And look, the sun is shining. Through super-cold, frostbite-inducing, blue-as-ice air.

I’d better go enjoy it while I can.

Perhaps my face will freeze in a smile, or at least something that resembles one.

I wouldn’t want to frighten the lion.






Feb 16 2016

ice storm

winter rides through

on a white


promising mud and wet

ever afters

i stand in the rain
and the cold

runs rivulets

down the hollowed out
of my back

with forgotten

as i grow a mask
(transparent carapace)

made from sky and hours
and the fallen echo

of grey hooves




Feb 9 2016

winter white

in a wedding dress frayed

by the rust of time and

the things

you could never give up


i offer you

a window

an ear

this year

but i know you want


and the taste of

love’s sugar


and your body

keeps telling

your story

betraying your hunger

with the constant motion

of silent







Feb 4 2016

holding blue up to the sky

the way a tree holds up time for everyone to see


i ran on the side of the road to a place i can’t get back to

a stranger asked if i was lost

and i wondered how he knew


peace is always an illusion when the default is chaos


the red-winged blackbird wears his heart on his sleeve

and i follow his lead


regret is the stepping stone of forward


crooked is the path that gets you there





Feb 2 2016

this is the mirror

at the root of existence

we choose to grow and then


bend and bow

curve and carry

reach and



at night the bloom closes
protecting center from darkness
and fragile from star


days run together

with the laughter of sympathy


what we’ve learned



is eternally