Little bro


We often say
that time passes too slowly
when we all know
it slips out of our grip
way too quickly

I didn’t pay attention
and time has rambled on
and I remember
(don’t forget)
the old times
(don’t forget)
I remember some good times
(they weren’t all bad)
and I remember some very bad times
(but they weren’t all bad)

A birthday’s just a day
and today it is your turn
to be man of the day
little boy with a deck of cards
and a magic wand
grown up, come on little brother
show me some magic
because I’m feeling tired

Then let’s toast to the days coming
the ones we look forward to
and the ones that will lead to eternity
for there are many smiles left
of your reflections
your golden faces looking up to you
for some good old days

here, kitty kitty

sitting in this bar
fifty miles from home
that does not feel like home
blue Persian cat making love to my legs
nearly obscene how he rubs against them
the beer head-splitting cold
I drink deep, then reach down to scratch his head
against my knee
I came here to forget
and to disappear into a dim crowd
his amorous
attention to my shins
making my eyes misty
a lick of pretzel salt
from my finger
tongue rough
throat vibrating
against my palm
when he purrs

Friday nights

That was my stool I would sit on
once a week next to my sister
and we’d talk and talk over dreams
and wishes, like kids
at an overnight

As the night wore down
and the head grew more inebriated
we confessed all our sins
baptizing one another in club soda
with a twist

Waking up next to each other
with all our confessions
cut into paragraphs
spending our Mondays
pasting them back together


Thoughts one upon another
rolling over rocks over water
give me a sheltering branch
taste and see if my thoughts
are bitter or sweet
or rotting on the vine


Jesus, I need your hand
like a wing around my bare sores
beaten down and tired–
heal me please with your tender care
remind me why I need you daily
oh cover me in sweet grasses
and help me not to forget

wisteria 2.jpg

Every step the stones loosen
on this road I fashioned myself
thorn and burr on each side
and a rising tide
I press on–trying to stay upright
keep my feet from slipping
one arm raised–a hand
outstretched to feel yours


In the ring

Each day we brushed
up against one another
(we could have had
all the chocolates
a friendship can offer)
sweet notes
spoiled by bitter tones

I was in awe
of you on a pedestal
you did not ask for
walking around me
in bullfighter stance, when
bending my head to charge
I watched you crumble

While regrets ate my resolve
no sleep, and no inclination
to count days
measuring quality of life
sucking up oxygen
and strawberries

Life on S. Michigan Ave.

Michigan Avenue.jpg

memories lash out
walking down the avenue
everyone buzzing

There is so much life here, no matter how you define it. Continuing our walk around Chicago, we arrived at Adams and Michigan, looking out at the life whizzing past and right in front of us as well, from the steps of the Art Institute. I got (hubby got) a shot of one of the doors, but it is shadowed by one of the two lions watching over the joint.

Lion art inst door.jpg

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The great unwashed

He would like the air quiet
when he partakes of his supper
her voices lurking in the shadows
of their modest home
to the sound of a tinny piano
behind doors, and at times
over their heads
at the kitchen table

He says, “I want to be alone with you,”
when they sit later, reading
and she smiles, and rises
bringing him a piece of pie
comforted in the muted crowds
surrounding their daily routine
filling the empty rooms
that grown children long ago

Cutting the last wedge of pie
on Thursday, for his lunchbox
she begins a shopping list
to prepare for the following week
listening to the whispers in her ears
of sprites and ghosts and back
alleyway detectives
about what the autumn will bring
cool breezes and
the voices of all the leaves

To the spider in my bed

Oh spider, do not abandon me
in my time of need. Even now
I feel a bump rising upon my flesh
where you settled and assaulted it
while I slept and dreamt of crows pecking
and now, the itching commences
that I felt as I awoke

Do not leave me in my lonely distress
too many days in this room with no other life
please do not put me off so hastily
when just moments before you partook
of my blood. I lie here alone in the dark
my fingers feeling over where you so
recently lay, and I am most terribly alone

where your cache is

yesterday I want to make over
start from five a.m.–
take each step slower
deeper through the mud
for it is so clear
that sliding through did not work

breaking the rules
is fine and good
but I did not write them
and I see so much clearer
than you do
can you take that in the jewels

I’m still in
but not like this
everyone watching
you know I am not
a palm tree on the sand
kind of girl
you can keep
your little umbrellas

the best of you and me
wrap’t together
in fog and gauze–
it’s alright
I never wanted the sun
but if I can catch it
I have always lusted after
the moon