there you were
leaning the doorway
night air concealed.
the white bird crosses
begin again begin
how her face
like wings like
the far shore
like waves that
rise and fall to meet
the chilled sand
once ancient rocks
from distant lands
again begin again
reflects more than moments
at your feet your
and in the stillness
the lingering hunger
rises to meet
Today the lie, his passion shown
Crossed the street and fled
Green stones called out
Memories from someone else’s life
To build your own prison
And lock the dream away
Turned nightmare in daylight
When golden pain also pleasures
And keeps you frozen
Somewhere between Antares
And the North Atlantic, longing.
“It is all in the way you carry yourself”, was the lesson
learned in the supermarket as he stuck the label on his brow.
“If I act as though I’m not a banana, then
others will treat me as such.” The old ladies tried not to stare
and whispered as we screeched and tried to hide but secretly,
we enjoyed the silliness coming from a grown-up.
– Previously published 1992 in From Daughter
summertime and picking corn, the sound of it snapping off the stack
and plopping into a basket, a forest of corn towers overhead,
running through the field and fear when separated from momma
not knowing which way leads to home. a little garden next to the field,
lettuce and carrots, tomatoes and onions picked for suppertime.
playing in the yard, sneaking past the gate to the neighbors or
walking down the road as momma steals away under a fence to
grabs some pears that we feast upon, skipping home and singing.
the other girls down the road who grew watermelon and pumpkins,
the homemade pie, autumn’s chill and starting school for the first time.
running home, straight to the backyard for a snack of Macintosh
and watching the sunflowers’ dance, smiling at the sun. the strange
men come to “steal” our potatoes for market. a warm collie
friend to play chase and wrestle with. the warmness of the wood
paneling lining the walls, twin beds in a room with stockings hanging
from the foot boards waiting for Santa in a land covered with snow.
the ice festival, blue and beautiful, roller skating on the frozen lake.
icicles hang from the rooftop, short dark days, early bus rides to school,
snapshots of childhood, slices of memory, photographs of the mind.
– Previously published 1992