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Category Archives: Family

Meeting His Girlfriend

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Mom, he said—there’s someone.
And he brought her to dinner,
which went exactly as you’d guess—
Nervous laughter,
many sidelong glances,
her fiddling with her hair,
her scarf, her phone, her fork,
barely eating.
What I really wanted
was to reach across the table
over the untouched food
kiss her forehead
and tell her to relax—
The judging is over, results are in:
that light in his eyes and his
happy, goofy grin
were all I needed to see.

Ships Across The Sea

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At the darkest turn of the year,
choose lightness. Choose to believe in
their capable hands, each steering
the ship of their own life—
sometimes, far off across the sea
sometimes, near enough to signal
sometimes, pausing at your side
where you can watch together
the moon, the whales
and schools of tiny, iridescent fish
darting beneath your hulls,
close enough for you and the one on the other ship
to marvel together —
How the neon fish catch the moonlight
and pull it deep into the sea
far below the waves, into the quiet
where we have never been before.

Holidays Take Their Toll

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Like a toll road
you must pay to travel,
away and back again, or
like the wreath on our front door
built years ago by a little girl–
Apples, cut into circles, dried to
dark brown, glued onto Styrofoam
in overlapping rings.
The little girl is long grown,
but the wreath remains,
disintegrating year by year
as the holidays take their toll.
Now the Styrofoam shows at the edge
a clue to what holds everything together
despite the years and the wearing away.

If You Give A Boy A Car

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Yes, oh yes,
I want to do enormous favors for you,
the kind involving cash, and inconvenience,
and driving long hours, all over the state,
preferably in the rainy dark, on deer-crowded
back roads, in complicated maneuvers
involving your car, your sister’s car,
a mechanic whose garage we can’t find
in the dark, and some guy named Lloyd
who we don’t even know,
but this day wasn’t a big enough mess
so we threw him in,
because you know for certain that
when everyone else says No,
You can ask for help from one person who
may well grumble or write a poem about it,
but will eventually pick up the keys and say
Yes.

This Star

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Silver glitter and cardboard
tacked to the window frame
suspended from a pale green ribbon
this one star is for the two of you.
For you, I place it forever
in the window, a light
so small you can ignore it
for a long time
but always shining, always,
so you can find it in the dark
and see the path home.

Emily

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My beautiful aunt
with her black hair
and bright red lips
was the one
the rest of the family
told stories about.
She didn’t care.
Laughing at their gossipy ways,
she pulled them close,
told them another story,
kissed their befuddled cheeks.
On my own gray days,
it cheers me to remember those faces,
that flock of dour Scotsmen
surprised at what they made—
one red flower dropped in their midst
thriving in a field of rocks.

Spoon Rest

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Spoon Rest

O spoon,
washed and dried
worn out
after the dinner shift.
Your work, as
necessary as a key–
to unlock our lips,
open our voices
over tonight’s
fine bowls of soup.

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook

MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry