Pictured Rocks

How much we love each other
An anniversary surprise
Pictured Rocks
Your gift to me despite your fear of heights
Let me take your photo
Back up you say
Take it all in from
First date to first grand baby
That woman just one of many
That woman you talk to late into the nights she is seconds
Our love is decades
Cool sandstone heavy
No one understands
How much I love you
In this our marriage Indian summer
What we have weathered
Ribbons of iron ore red, copper green, and limonite revel
Our love is stone polished
Back up a little more baby you say
You send me to the edge
I’d go to the edge for us

My knee the one that always gives me troubles gives out
I stumble back
My hand that has reached for yours
In the dark
When I’m afraid
For years
stretches out now
I reach, you run
You kick, I drop

Like a stone
Tumbling to the pebbled shore far below
No one understands

How much you love me

Family album

Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings
Watching screamers and starbursts late into the night
Easter baskets and homemade firemen costumes
Plastic t-Rexes and spaceships built with blocks bright

Hollering and hollowed promises deck these halls
Waiting half the night for him to com through that door
Photos laughing in a stack of photo albums
Of a happy family that doesn’t exist anymore

A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time
Damsels in distress
A tower among the clouds
The hero on a quest
True love’s kiss
In the dark a chittering of evil

Tell one more please
Bedtime is princesses and knights
Man eating giants and question filled trolls
Fluffy stuffed bears and race car comforters
Not for me
My dreams were fed on other stories

Sharp knives and trip wires
Snap of a branch
Reading the signs
How not to be seen
Tracking legends urban
Remember there is always one in the chamber

Concrete pillows and a blanket of moonlight
The city’s glittering throat offered up to my touch
Tracking ghosts, hunting hunters
Armed with a backpack of wooden stakes
Thwack!
Even the dead tell stories.

Castaway

Knowing you’d slip beyond the horizon,
Still you cast your net for my silvery heart
That laughed at romance’s silly clichés.
A spy in the house of love
Feet planted in the shifted sand, I was.
How could you trick me with an unblemished shore?
You held me under ceaseless waves
Naked I washed upon our shoals,
Driven and tossed

Find me

Find me

Driven and tossed
Naked I washed upon our shoals.
You held me under your ceaseless waves.
How could you trick me with an unblemished shore?
Feet planted on the shifted sand, I was
A spy in the house of love
That laughed at romance’s silly clichés.
Still you cast your net for my silvery heart
Knowing you’d slip beyond the horizon

Come October

Tell me bout the children
Are the girls okay
Let little Lucy know I would sew her Spring Fling gown if I could
I wanted to
rosebud pink with Swiss dots
Spaghetti straps
No don’t bring them here
I want them to remember Meemaw like I was
Like I’m supposed to be
Don’t ask how I’m doin’

Did Bobby and Jack cover the hay
From the summer rains
Daddy’s gonna be mad if—that’s right some days it’s like he’s still here
Even if you don’t love somebody
They are still yours
You are still theirs
I never had a say in what happened to me
Like an old tree growing with a fence
You can’t break them part
Without one being cut
Don’t ask me about your father

Even in here
I can smell the harvest
It’s a warm sweetish smell
Daddy and me would’ve been forty years
Come October
He done what he did
And I never asked questions
He’d slap me into next week if I did
It’s not fair they blame me for what he done
You know I would never hurt nobody
What could I have done

My seed catalogs came today
I turned the thin pages half the night
Busting with
Choices
The papers say I should’ve known
so many farm hands coming and going
Always leaving their things behind
Us never paying salaries and all
I kept the books
And my mouth shut
Come spring they’ll move me from laundry to gardening
I hope
I’m not the kind that asks questions

I Want Waffles

I want waffles.
Golden buttery windows
Drizzles of maple syrup
Cheek and jowl, with sausage and eggs
A saucy wink from peaches

I want waffles.
Melted mornings
The day’s sweetness drips
Jostling with solitude and paperbacks
Flirting with a nap

I want waffles
To savor over time
And time to savor over
A morning set on a plate
Curled on the sofa
Unfurling my thoughts
With my favorite mug of possibilities.

Psalm to a 2015 Honda Fit, blue

A workplace
A dining room
Storage facility
And private library
My shuttle, my shelter, my solace
Ride on

though your front left is capriciously low
Coffee splashed blazons your dash
Bumper love taps, mementos of lessons learned
Ride on

Parking garages be your nemeses
Crushed seltzers carpet your floor
Phone holders will fail at the less opportune time

Ride on

Noble chariot

Through thick and thin

in rain or shine

overpass and underpass recalculating forever we

ride on

A Quiet Corner

Hushed explosions and rapid gunfire
Leak out from the living room
Rap rumbles Upstairs
as heavy footed children tumble
A frustrated dishwasher clatters
While the comforter-laden washer lumbers towards a raucous freedom

I walk

Along a winding cobblestones of plots
Behind a fortress of verses listening to the
Voices chitter in the thicket of my keys

In a quiet corner of my own,
I write.

Honey

Bees offer honey far more than stings.
Ginger green tea
Hot and biting
Comfort to my raw throat
I sip.
Warmth pools in my chilled chest
My mug is not as heavy as I feel
I’m no bee but
I work and serve
I hurt and sting
I feed and provide
I heal to be hurt again
In a tight frenetic circle
In a relentless loop

I empty my cup
now cold
Gulping down to the bitter dregs and wish for honey.

S.S. Manifest

New home
This lifeless sphere
Made ours by blood, sweat, will
Our children will range across the stars
Endless

“Today’s writing prompt was to write an American Cinquain, a five line poem with the syllable structure 2-4-6-8-2, on connections. I suck at poems. My mind is walking through my last piece, New Sheriff in Town. This poem written by a crew member on the first colony ship to Enceladus, second moon of Saturn.