Jargon of Uncertain Times

“Now more than ever” they say addressing “these uncertain times” while the quiet is a lovely, spooky thing

Like Prufrock’s curling fog or the calm eye at the middle of every storm

I play the sober girl’s version of a drinking game–keep a running tally of each meaningless thing we say

To ellipsize all the scooped-out half moon lost stitches

In the story of our world

The Stages of Grief

The call costs five cents a minute and you have to be ready with a form of payment. On the other end of the line there is

A princess stuck in a well

Bears curled in around a wee-sleepy home invader

A girl in a badly blended family with a knack for the most inconvenient footwear

And all the rest of us-

sleeping beauties, garden-of-Gethsemane-tired

Of hearing about

This impending crucifixion.

After the Sea

We sleep in boats
Strewn out across
An unending sea
Cling to blankets, shelter, each other

An archipelago of contained air
All that holds us
Up inflatable dinghies,
Flotsam unstable

We call to each other
Sun-drenched dazed
Testing our new words
Like… beach balls….
post-apocalyptic always

Cup your hands
Across your eyes
Look to the deep
Where the leviathan hides


What We Stand to Lose

She has her back to me. She is telling the children a sort of fable–if fables started if instead of once upon a time.;. And if the princess were a royal pain in the….well, you get the idea.

So Princess is unravelling a story. What if we had no mom or dad, no one to tell us what to do… Her voice conveys the magic of this scenario. Thanks to public assistance she has now had a few years to live the dream, and I will not venture to comment on how that has worked out for her.

It is her life.

And I was once just a random woman willing to wipe her…oh, you, get the idea again.

You could look at the things she has lost playing out her orphaned-with-cash fantasy. But that does not matter as much to me as this—

This world is God’s house and we may presume he has just run to the store for grapes. But I would not be so foolish as to underestimate Him. He owns this house and will return to clean it.

You can live your whole life without a mother and somehow muddle through. But to stake your forever on the dream of autonomy is risky precisely because you may just get exactly what you wanted…


The Rain Dance

I see the light
Pouring out
Over the lawn at night
The girls in their pretty
Dresses fan out in the lines
Demarcating light and darkness
Can you hear the haunting
I can
The strings of slow lament
The partygoers
Lurching toward the wrought
Iron gates
Boozy and fatigued
who will show us the way home?

imagine Grief

is a beautiful



smooth strokes through the water

how did she learn to do that?

was it me?

was it you?

was it the strength of all our recessive


we would say everything

she did was beautiful

and that would be true

but we were

her family

and now

that she has slipped

through the waters

with her confident stroke

not paddling

awkwardly like a child

when i was a child…i thought like a child

reasoned like a…


come back!

you can do flip turns

with your eyes closed

come back–

do not

put childish ways behind you–

I need you here



of the world

one day without you

even though I know–


that we do see

but a poor reflection

(as in a mirror)

then we



face to face


(tiny voice)

still small voice…

come back–