Feb 22 2023

as it turns out

the year I became
an old woman

was the same year
the snows never came

the same year
your heartless mirror
turned my skin truth-brittle

the same year
black birds refused to fly

and i remembered
(at long last)
how to cry

heart and hands
bent and broken

weightless forest

neither you
nor i

but the (w)hole
damn mess

the same year
water taught me
how to whisper

the same year
i spat bitterness
back to center

washed myself clean

the same year
as those that marched
in pattern-dashes
of before

you always leaving

me always loving

never there

and only trees
know the last
ancient riddle

bearing witness to the scars
of hollow hearts

still standing

(always standing)

shedding leaves
like tears
at the threat
of yet another



.  .  .



listen to my reading of as it turns out below:


Feb 8 2023

peripheral revision

i revisit your funeral
in a dream filled with rooms

paint my face crackle-grey
and watch the pink of my tourmaline ring
wash away

every so often
i think i see you


every so often
you’re choosing a can of peas
or bringing the cat
you never had in for fleas

and as long as i don’t look

directly at you

i’m certain you’re


i’m game



Nov 23 2022

the truth of it

is the seed
you never saw

dropped by bird or breeze or
gnarled fingers

holding silent
the cold of dark
the dark of cold
the carapace
of old

tend the bloom

worship petal
over promise

the grey kitchen
sings in whispers
to the rainbow
of brevity

each flower is merely
the camouflage of purpose:

rest in soil

the light was always
your beginning

Nov 11 2017

these things take time

people say you’ve changed
and i say


about time!

how high?

my feet got bigger
and my hips got wider
and crone was painted every
where i looked in
big red scary letters
or long retracted grey whispers
(and both sound exactly just the same)

i inherited all this anger
from the girl that came before
this rage
raging all around

i’ve been breathing rage
for a year now

a year that broke my heart
in every sideway possible
and screwed it back together
with those cheap screws
that break
when you crank too hard

that makes it sound worse than it was
that makes it sound easier than screaming
that makes it sound so grandiose

when really it was just hours
and minutes and tears and breathing
sweat equity pouring down my back
as i walked for miles and miles and miles
and never did get far enough away

i have calluses stronger than my silence
i have plastic words and a purple parachute
i have this empty body standing tall

and we all sag under the weight
of whittled-down survival


this afternoon
the sky
was filled with geese

winter is coming

winter is coming

at night i hear these words
in the darkness

outside my window

inside my head

your voice

my voice

whisper scream

the possibility

of resurrection






Apr 19 2017


i spent a year

to grief and

hope and

i lost my voice
in the sound
of life
moving on

or death
pounding hooves
down fresh
black pavement

i’m here
on the
other side
of something



to storm
and blossom

holding stories
in a heart

scarred from




Apr 3 2017

dancing on the horizon
of memory

the ladies gathered every evening
tap-tapping with canes and shuffling mules
to talk about the storm that was always coming
and the girl that walked to Seattle
pain always sitting on somebody’s lap
and death on a bench in the corner
pretending to be ignored

no one rose up to kiss away the chip
on a bony-cold squared-off shoulder
no one was afraid and
no one was falling
for the pout on the face of resistance

by this time they were all old friends
acceptance was the belt
holding the bathrobe closed
and besides, thelma told
the best stories




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 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 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






Dec 31 2015


The bows get harder to tie each year, wrapping life up into neat little packages is a gift of the young. But no matter, the new year comes just the same, wrapped or not, prettied up or painted over, parceled out or held close in hidden pockets.

We like our second chances, though. New year, new month, new week, new day. The chance to begin again, be better, live more, love more, give more.

We bring our scars and broken bits to the party, and after a while, no one notices. Because what matters is that we are there, standing testament to each other’s existence. My paint is peeling and your paper is torn. My corners are crooked and your ribbon is creased. Packaging, no matter how perfect or pretty, ruined or wrinkled, is not what we offer.

The gift is always inside.

And the bits that poke through, refusing to fit neatly into boxes or hide beneath brightly colored paper, those are always the very best parts.


Here’s to another year of gifts and smiles, tears and scars, sunshine and puddles.

Here’s to you and to me and to us.

All of us.

Here’s to being here.