today the heart

is a golden field with no edges

abundant with grain

and here in the center

a scarecrow

with open arms

croons to the birds,

the farmer, the mice,

come on, there’s plenty,

plenty for all

This year for Mother’s Day, an offering of four poems published in Telluride Inside and Out–one for my mother, one for my son, one for my daughter (that invokes Mother Mary, too), and one about the day I quit motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers–especially my own. I love you, mom!




One Urgency




no rush, I tell my hands

but they hustle anyway, switching off lights

eager for stars



for Corinne



It is muddy, the road,

and steep, and that feels,

somehow, just right today

as we walk with no sense

of destination. You tell me

your dreams. I tell you mine.

By accident, I find myself

holding the string of your hoodie—

the long blue ribbon has swung

from your waist

into my hand, and somehow

it becomes just enough

of a lifeline for me to weep,

as if this thin connection

to you is enough of a tether

that whatever in me

has been trying to be strong,

can crumple.

Sometimes we don’t know

just how much we need each other

until, by chance, we find ourselves

strangely connected. Umbilical,

we are all each other’s children.

As we walk, we see the spindrift

of small avalanches misting at the end

of the box canyon. Such dangerous beauty.

Something inside each of us longs

for this kind of release.

We walk on, and talk and listen.

Each time I take hold of the string,

I begin again to weep. There is no shame in this.

We reach a turning point—

though it is arbitrary.

On the way down,

you take my hand

and we swing our arms with our gait.

When we let go,

I feel in my hand where your warmth has been.

All day, I feel tethered.

All day, I remember

how beautiful it was,

the snow as it fell

through the cliffs.




Inner Spring




Today, the cottonwoods

in the canyon are already

more green, more lush

than the day before—

we, too, are everyday

more ourselves, which

is to say less our story

and more whatever

it is that writes the story.

Of course it is not easy

to become, though

look, we can’t stop

becoming no matter

how hard we try,

It’s so soft, the new green,

though you and I both know

what it takes to push through,

to emerge into the cold.



listening to Matthew Dane play viola d’amore to a piece by Reina Esmail



traveling between

dissonances, we learn

to rest not only

in resolve but also

in this trembling





Just trying to keep things safe,

this innocent, valiant inner mason

who built this stone fortress

to protect me from the vicious wind—

of course there are no windows,

no doors.

That’s how a breeze might come in.


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