for the mothers
Her arms are never empty.
There is perhaps a silence
that holds the space for all this hum,
but she knows it more by faith
than by experience. Sometimes
she sees herself in the window
at night as she moves about the kitchen,
stacking dry dishes and setting out bottles
for morning. She is older now. Less
herself and more something else,
something she cannot name,
though she has stopped believing
in the power of names to contain things.
Sometimes she wonders when she
will disappear from the window.
Already she sees it, how she’s become blur,
as if tears fell on a watercolor, and all
is smudgy and hazy and vague. But
who would want to paint this scene, the making
of sandwiches, the watering of the jade.
It will come, the vanishing. For now,
the armfuls of shirts and socks. For now
the low drone of the dryer as it tumbles,
the occasional clashing of a zipper or buckle.
For now, the milk to put away.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged housework, mother, poem, poetry | Leave a Comment »
Nothing, how I love you.
Nothing in my hands and nothing
in my thoughts. Nothing between
my everything to do.
You are not mountain nor desert, not wild
nor tame. You are equally not juicy, not dry.
There is no anger in you, no sorrow.
There is no hunger, no longing, no need.
And still you are more yes than no.
You are entirely, uncompromisingly
Nothing. The nothing that holds up
the everything else.
Nothing, I have visited you. Felt
the ever expanding reach of you,
felt myself as nothing, infinite
and everywhere and I did not want to return.
Until there was the tiniest thought of me
that pulled me back into this world
of pomegranates and rivers and lavender
and loss. Nothing, I love you. You are everything I am not.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged love, nothing, poem, poetry | 2 Comments »
There are no direct flights
from anywhere to here.
Say you make it to Denver.
Say there is a car. Then the long road
though it’s only four turns.
First at the edge where the orchards
meet the layers of desolation, barren, striated and high.
Next at the intersection of depression
and loneliness, where an old
wooden sign with faded red paint announces
that there were once Friday night drag races here.
Turn right at the stoplight of indecision
where it looks uphill no matter which way you go.
It is. If it is summer, there will be lupine,
purple, and golden mules ears in the alpine meadows,
though the peaks will still be secluded in snow.
And if it is winter, there will be tracks
from the elk herds trailing whitely into the spruce.
Pass the turn off toward distraction.
Pass the cliff that was formed around the same time
the dinosaurs went extinct, and then turn left at the drive
just past the ponderosa, how much taller that tree
must be now. There will still be a river waiting for you,
perhaps even a lifetime.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged directions, home, poem, poetry | 2 Comments »
A glove in the road,
there it was, so misshapen
and flattened that at first I mistook it
for a dead bird, black,
run over by countless tires
until its feathers were
and useless as an old single
glove lost on the road.
There was some Once
Upon a Time in it, enough
that I read a whole life story
into the trampled threads.
I imagined how another someone
might peel up the remnants
of that old glove, take it home,
stretch it onto a canvas
and paint it, reclaim it as art.
But I was more filled with the part
of the story in which I walk past The End,
past the black glove, changed who knows how
by this simple trodden thing, finding myself
on the cliff of tears and strangely unable
to stop one foot from moving
in front of the other.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged glove, poem, poetry, story | 1 Comment »
When the red hydrant bursts,
all my life I have wanted to be
there at that moment, with the water
shooting into the street and all the kids
and me splashing and barefoot and laughing.
It is always sunny in this fantasy,
and I am not carrying a laptop
or hurrying to a job interview.
My hands are remarkably free
and I am ready to play as long
as the water erupts. Is it any wonder
I long for this kind of explosion
in you—a wild release. A giant mess
as it all comes out and you hold
nothing, nothing back, and me,
in this fantasy, I don’t take
it personally. I just roll up my pants,
take off my shoes, throw away anything
that resembles a plug and say Darling,
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged love, poem, poetry, release | 1 Comment »
Someday they’ll learn to levy tax on love.
At least fifteen percent, but likely more.
Say thirty-five percent. With guarantors
in case we can’t pay up. Of course the gov
would want its due. There’s never quite enough
of anything. For years they thought that war
could be the country’s answer, how it pours
in money, power, makes the people tough.
And then there’s love. In fact they’ll wonder why
it took them centuries to think of it.
For unlike currency, there is no end
to love. It’s infinite. So they’ll apply
a love tax, hug tax, wooing tax. Remit
away, my friend. Preserve the country: Spend.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged love, poem, poetry, sonnet, taxes | 3 Comments »
Again the invitation
to love the body
this very moment.
Not the way it was once,
all limber and lean,
all smooth and able.
Not the way it might
be someday in the future
if only, if only. The invitation
to love it now. No
exceptions. No rain date.
No directions how to get there.
No box for maybe.
The invitation arrives
as it always does,
without an envelope.
Without a return address.
No RSVP. No name on it
but your own. No trumpets.
No angels singing about
how all flesh is holy. No
clowns telling jokes.
It arrives so quiet,
but so sincere, right beside
the impulse to crumple
it up. Now what to do.
The rising urge to run.
The rising urge to bow.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged acceptance, body image, poem, poetry, self love | 2 Comments »