“The Most Spectacular Fall I’ve Ever Seen”

Filled with braggadocio and confidence he arrived
with three small children trailing like snow geese
prepared for an afternoon on the ice. Round and round
the children skated, cold biting their cheeks and ankles shaking.
He laced his skates with special care and prepared for the dance;
cold biting and ankles shaking he sped about the perimeter
with a raised eyebrow and elegant air, oh so debonair.
Round and round, “no sweat” and confidence until it came
that he nearly tripped on crossed feet to fall upon the ice
but caught himself in the wind, arms flapping like a bird
attempting to bring feet beneath body again, and so
his speed he did increase. One by one the skaters left the circle,
making way for the artist who soon found himself quite alone
spinning as a planet circles a star until gravity
finally took hold and he could sustain the acrobatics
no longer – the flight of the snow goose across the ice.
Applause broke out among the ladies lined there, spectators,
as the curator took to the ice to shake his hand saying,
“I just wanted to shake your hand because
that was the most spectacular fall I’ve ever seen.”

– Previously published 1992 in From Daughter

coot ice skating

Coot skating

seeking and hide

night

Photography by: Deniz Dutton

children laughing
playing
hide and seek
in the dark
around home
the abandoned
house next door
heart beat
so loud
you fear it
would give
you away
trying to ease
your breath
into low
inaudible waves
concealed
years later
embraced hardness
thrusts events
sorrowful
catches breath
and you
find yourself
seeking and hide
again.

Blue Flame

I remember the plastic on the windows
to hold back the winter; little spiders
caught between pane and plastic, half frozen,
in our little wooden cabin in the North Woods
of the Upper Peninsula. We two sat on the couch
while the babies slept in the next room.
I think you were writing a letter,
lost somewhere on route to the Amazon
where you left your heart, leaving me to
your tears. Maybe you were thinking in
Portuguese when the little five year old girl asked,
“Is the blue part of the flame hotter than the yellow, mommy”;
full of curiosity and mischief. I know now you
were trying to catch a memory, to fly across the
expanse of distance and time, to smell home
and touch those warm blue waters,
when you replied, “I don’t know. Touch it and find out.”
And I did.

– Previously published 1992

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