Holding Patterns




It’s not patience

that makes the cup

hold the tea, it’s

simple practicality.

Not love that makes

bowl hold ripened fruit.

But it is patience

that holds the phone

and says I miss you.

It’s love that doesn’t

hold at all.

Despite Birdsong




In a cupboard

he opens often

he keeps a box

of resentment.

Something about

knowing it is there

makes him feel alive.


He touches the box

again and again,

lets the anger fill

whatever inside him

feels empty.


Hear it? Thumping

in him, pretending

it is a heart. It’s easy

to mistake.

Happy Easter! I am back from Florida and helping my parents move. Now we’ll return to our regularly scheduled daily poems, but here are 15 from the last 15 days … I decided to bunch them all together into one bouquet. 



eavesdropping over the fence

the bougainvillea leans into my thoughts,

blushes a deeper pink




the moon emerges

from behind the cloud

and the whole sea shines—

wanting to find in us

that kind of light




that memory

leaves my lips half open—

ripe blood oranges




watching my father

give away his favorite fishing rods—


a hook in my heart

a tug on the line




at the top of the hill

I see another hill—

deciding to take

another step,

another step




I’ve hired a hit man

for my doubt—

now it’s really

got something

to worry about




finding the perfect shell—

giving it back

to the sea




it ,too,

has a shadow,

that perfect red hibiscus




oblivious to the angel beside me

I tripped on its wings as I passed

and scared it into a white hush of flight—

I stood, equal parts bereft with its loss

and blessed with proof it exists




pressing my nose

against your nose the way a cat would—

hoping you stay close




sure, do it again,

said God, but next time

try giggling

when you do

a belly flop




mesmerized by the sunset,

reminding myself

I am also an actor

in this scene,

not only audience




wearing my sunburn

the way I wish

I were wearing you—

the sunrise leans

into every shade of pink




on the old couch

I hold my mother gently

and slow my breathing to hers—

the small light of our love

pushes against the edge of dark




the congregation pussy willows

and mullein rosettes sang off key—

I sang along, not caring

if we sounded good, just grateful

to be praising




Future Imperfect




We’ll catch up soon,

I say, and I actually believe it—

though after I say them

the words stare at their watches

and rush off, late

for their next sentence,

their letters shaking their heads

their sans serif heads,

as if they know

I’ll never learn.





A purple crocus,

a hole in the clouds,

an empty lipstick case,

a pearl button,

scent of mint,

a left turn signal,

yellowed lace—

ask the world a question

and what can’t be seen

as a potential sign—

star-shaped balloon,

unbruised apple,

elk by the highway,

accidental rhyme.



Going Round Trip




After the first half mile

my shoes are soaked through

from post holing through knee deep snow.

There’s still a long way to go,

and the hike is for pleasure, after all,

so I decide it’s not so bad,

the squish of my socks,

the chill seeping in.

It’s just another way to remember

I’m alive, and though it’s slippery

and slushy, the trail,

and though I’m less nimble

than I’d wish to be,

look at that blue, blue sky,

and oh, my long shadow,

see how eagerly it leans to the east.




Imagine that your hands are an extension of your heart. Because they are.

—Clea Willow, yoga instructor



While slipping coins into the meter

I remind my hands they are doing

the work of the heart. They fumble

to find another quarter in my coin purse,

then drop it on the sidewalk

where it shines against the gray.

Isn’t that just like the heart, I think,

to bumble even the simplest of routines.

It could be so easy to search for, hold closely,

and let go at just the right time.

Come on hands, I tell them, do what

what the heart must do. Reach.

Recover. Try again.

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