mutation

all the rovers have become divers
all the merry maids in divers situations
are come to their ends in intricate ways
the hems of their garments falling short
of their plans, the hopes
of a privileged few fall to the masses
each wanton phrase passed from pop to son
enough to get the damage done
plenty well enough to bring the mama to justice
leaving her alone with every memory of trains
driving through her head with
the ferocity of the years
crashing into her dreams without cause

fears of the fathers

sailing through cherry blossom days
and crème brûlée nights
she wasn’t going to lay down her arms
for a mere brat of a boy
saving up her trinkets for later
giving him all her daydreams
and night sweats

he did not know the tango
but they moved through summer
amid a soundtrack of Ravel
and Aguilera
all second thoughts
stuffed under the mattress

back in the town onto which
they shook the clay from their shoes
all their dues, paid
if you took into account
their mothers’ latent wishes
and the fears of their fathers

Answer: never

Jeopardy question: When is it ‘too little, too late’?

In 1989 I met a family that a year later I would become a part of. I had come from a place and family from the mid-west U.S. and was about to enter a very American-European family on the east coast. I was insecure about fitting into a family. Put me in a room with 30-100 strangers and I was the life of the party. Put me in a living room with 15 folks that were about to welcome me as sister, daughter, etc, and I had utter stage fright.

I came from a family where I had not hugged anyone in years, except a side arm hug at the airport and a bear hug from my mother who had longed for that for years herself. I entered a house where every face was kissing me and every arm was hugging me. But I still felt outside. Why?

I didn’t know how to express affection that way. I wanted it, but I was afraid of it. I questioned their motives, I assumed they didn’t accept me. Didn’t like me.

Didn’t get me.

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don’t worry
about the trash in your yard
it’s not
from my yard
it’s from all the thoughts
that heap up
in the middle of the storm
whirling
with a gig of their own

she doesn’t know who she is
all the clouds look like rain
every man walks by
in a white t-shirt and faded jeans
and no one ever asks her
who she is – no one ever wants to know
where she came from
all her weather she brings with her
all the storms she leaves behind