Lemon pie blues

Today hurt bad like cuts on my fingers
then slicing lemons for hours
your face, always disappointed, and
I would like to be the girl
to bring light to your eyes

How do I explain why it hurts more
to be misunderstood than kicked
honey, how I wish I could have you here
to protect me now
because I am feeling low

Feeling tired and wondering why
I never fit into this world of woe
come Sunday, everything
is going to feel alright
praise God on Sunday we will dance

and give happiness one more chance
come Sunday
everything is gonna feel alright

It is a crime

Time is a fiend
what it asks of me
some tender underbelly
of hope that bleeds
when it is disappointed
It does not take without
leaving its card

Time is a thief
when we are not looking
it takes more than its share
suddenly a month gone
then two, reaching back
as it takes it takes
the great taker

Time has been murdered
in the name of leisure
in the name of discouragement
just killing, time our credo
when the winter has beat on us

and I am not exempt for I have killed
I have also killed for that lovely

bit of nothing


toast corners
over-cooked bacon
because I like it that way
a hint of
the acrid afternoon
pretending we did not sleep in
to avoid
orange juice they
don’t fresh squeeze anymore
and all that coffee
I used to grind myself

I am (from)

Someone said, “Don’t obsess about the past.”

I said, ‘I’ll give you that, if you promise to look at it honestly sometimes’.

It holds the keys to the future.


I am from peanut butter on bread with sugar
and spaghetti, faithfully, every week
I am from peach pies and pot roasts
With potatoes, carrots and gravy and leeks

I am from long days and hard nights
Alone too much and confused about why I am here
I am from disappointed promises
Cruelty where I saw comfort in the masses

I am from heated back seat kisses
Hot summer nights with mysterious men
Hastily made oaths that vanished quickly
Birthdays that passed over like eidolon

I am from babies’ giggles and late night stories
Dreams of success and inventories
Blue skies and flat lands that stretched for days
Winter ices and eternal summers’ haze

I am from apple pie with ice cream
Bruised arms and scarred legs
Long nights we learned about falling in love
Long days we dreamed of them coming again

I am from people that worship our God
Some in a loving way, some rough shod
I am from somewhere it is good to be from
I long for new horizons that I can call ‘home’.

(2015, prompted by George Ella Lyon)

Sum of my parts

I was composed by
Dickinson and Poe
Ingalls and Alcott
Cummings and Keats;
A pen with the ink of
Matthew, Mark, Luke
John, Ringo, George
And Paul, the apostle;

Shaped by the lashes
of a leather belt
and overcooked vegetables
with Sunday roast, and
endless vats of gravy
poured into cups

put food on the pain
eat until you’re stuffed;

Composed by Rock of Ages
What a friend we have in Jesus
sung by saints and the
wife-beaters-closet bigots
friends and adulterers;

Unexpected kindnesses
wrapped in Jean Naté
and Chanel No. 5
a soft, wrinkled hand
with hard candy
wrappers that crinkled
during the prayer;

Constructed by long rainy walks
endless nights without sleep
teachers that saw through me
a welcome friend
in the middle of the heat;

Each cell, every organ complete
I won’t deny any of them
for to remove the painful limbs
would cause the others
to fall apart;

So I walk on
head up-chin out
this is me
take me or leave me
this is who I am
a sum of my life

Until I am done
I’m coming Grandma
some day-to sit next to you
and hear the rest of the stories

Of how we were all
stewed, and shoveled
into what we are