cedar crypts

sunbonnet sue.jpg

Like a cedar crypt
they lie in bags, All
their childhoods
wrapp’t amongst lavender
and dust, and
the scent of every Christmas
Each disappointment
with the colors of quilts
The squares of each dress
every drape
all our lives


Monday random



  • Could I edit my feature photo to be a little smaller?
  • Sure I could
  • But I woke up to brilliant sunshine and a temp here of -2°F
  • I am planting a little mental spring garden to give me the will to go out the door this morning
  • today, on March 4
  • mmhmm
  • positivity is key
  • So this was intended to be a handful of random thoughts
  • instead I am harping on winter
  • winter that wants to stay
  • here’s a thought, and a tip for the day
  • Bakers? Don’t forget that even a sweet treat needs a pinch of salt in it to bring out the sweetness. Not much, just a half teaspoon, perhaps a quarter, or only a pinch. It’s chemistry. It works. Please trust me on this!
  • In other news, I am continuing sewing memory pillows for a friend. The first two were fashioned from sweaters, as will the next after this project today
  • which is two pillows made from a first communion dress from the sixties
  • It has been very rewarding, but gives me sweats taking the clothing apart, these dear memorials people held on to for so long
  • I just don’t want to screw it up.
  • But so far, so good
  • After that, writing, both a side project, and my own
  • And, if I get a couple of hours left at the end of the day in which I do not pass out early, I will watch an old movie I have been saving to watch with hubby
  • In the meantime–Onward, ho!
  • Think spring.


it is not as if I kept a list


it was snowing a few days before Christmas
and he put his jacket around my shoulders
the smell of leather, a memory, rose
between us
in the clouds from our mouths

the snow looked like diamonds in my hair
he said, and kissed my forehead
while I finished my story, about
the one that got away, the one
that broke me in two for ten months–

he laughed a little at the end
and I shrugged, running a block ahead
while he picked up his jacket
brushed it off
and tried to make sense of me

catching up he grabbed my arm
and I pulled it away
then he called me sweetheart
and I stopped. ‘didn’t you break some hearts
back then?’ he asked–

I turned and smiled, and
he handed me his coat
putting my arms into the sleeves.
I held his hands

‘yeah I did, didn’t I? huh, I had forgotten,’
I said–
and we walked through the park
until it stopped snowing, until
we had run out of memories to tell

A chocolate chip melted in my mouth

while I baked the cookies, taking my
small handful of chocolate on the side
like I always have
my mind wandering
easy to do with a task
I’ve done countless times
cookies to give away
a bit of heart to share in my
own way
made me think of the piece
of someone’s heart
that did not belong to me
I stole for a little while
before I gave him back–isn’t it funny
how the mind can ramble over memories
when the aroma of baking fills the house

In the hall

I wait
my breathing shallow
for the footsteps
on the squeaky stair
my lungs feeling empty
lost my voice to the loud
mouth dry
like old air
of that last time
in there
memory fail me now
let’s not remember
brain cells, teach
me how to forget
in the hall
outside the door
at the top of the stairs


red dress


The man walked past, and
I could have been anyone
but I had been that girl in the club
the night he forgot to tell me
his wife’s name

I never was good with heeding warnings
with a chip on my shoulder
something to prove
I scarce remember
who I wanted to convince

laughing over a glass of
Rodney Strong
cabernet sauvignon
I forget what year
I got wise and no longer cared
what they thought

I had wanted to find him
showing off
in Vera Wang red silk
but I think I
could wear anything
or nothing
and be just fine with myself

hotter than eggs on a pan

sitting in my own sweat
t-shirt sticking to the car seat
I go back years
to the scent of patchouli
and a badlyrolled joint
the backdrop for us

you and me and he
a triangle of the craziest, and
she nearly took my head off
guessing what game we were playing
the day covered in southern comfort

I was so glad mom didn’t know
what I was up to
sizzling summer days
on eagles’ wings
however we grasped at them

memories etched
in the rocks at the lake
impressions of our bodies gone
as sand shifted and water seeped
before anyone could see
that we had been there

in my forest

when I dream
I see what might have been
if Hansel and Gretel’s father
had a change of heart
if he went into that forest
to find them
before they tasted the candy walls

but this life was destined
to be one of dungeons, pitfalls, and swamps
and utterly
uphill only


I was eighteen years old and I was away from home for the first time. I was living with a family in a nearby affluent neighborhood as a nanny, a housekeeper, and chief cook and bottle-washer. I was only thirty minutes from home but it felt like hundreds more. I saw myself as the next Emily Dickinson, giving credence to being alone way too often. On an evening off, I went to a poetry reading at a college nearby, and took a seat a few rows from the back, second seat in.

I watched his face as he spoke with wild passions, my own eyes excited, my nostrils flaring, basking in the glow of electric poetry. I was an innocent, an ingénue. I had never had a boyfriend. But I was engaging in some serious eye contact with a professor at least twice my age and it was not my imagination that he was staring back, this man in a tan corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows. I wore Bass penny loafers with a cloud of Coty Musk perfume about my hair. When he was finished I clapped lustily and looked at the program to see who was reading next. As they started, someone slipped into the seat next to me. It was him.

Continue reading “Eighteen”

you do the math

dancing in my living room
to George and Elton
(does it really happen
if no-one sees it? like
that proverbial
tree in the forest)

he says I never go out
(though I could tell him stories
about 1985, when I lived ten years
in 12 months)
and I dance and dance

my head full of 1990
(wonderwall, hammer, hit me baby)
one more time–-let’s dance as one
I’ll lead this time–you follow–-
if you still have that notion
that 1+1= 1
and 2+1= no-end-of-joy

perhaps we will find
a new kind of joy
wrap’d in understanding, and
lessons learned (old flames–-
new rites of passage)
let’s not forget, and dance to now
(rhianna, radiohead, foo fighters
+ the beatles,
the eagles, and 21 pilots,
shaken and stirred)

once I thought it was crucial
to fly without a net
but I believe
the real trick
is to not let go