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fine, a walk

Fine, a walk
I said when I didn’t want
a walk because it was
early. Before coffee early.
But we went. Wind died down
Stars from the sky and those green
and red stars from my neighbor’s
Holiday Light Extravaganza
spread across the dark above
and around us. Snow all melted
away. Rain in the night.
Lights meant to reflect snow
now glisten in the rain
and despite my grumpy
hesitation? It was
a fine walk.

that butterfly

Was there one moment
when you decided
to stop wanting things
so you wouldn’t be
disappointed?

Imagine you could travel
through time and
change so much of now
by blowing on the wings
of that particular butterfly.

When you rewrite the list
of hours, days, whole years
you would Do Differently,
consider putting
that moment
with that particular butterfly
at the top

country houses

country houses
not the kind featured in
designer living magazines
and Instagram accounts
but ordinary houses
deep in the country
how they huddle together

wish life

I have a picture you drew
of a girl, her back to us,
hands fisted in pockets
She walks with Great Determination
into the forest. I can tell
she is thinking hard.

Me too. Thinking about
what we all
ask of the world.

An interview with the interim mayor
of a city plagued by ills—
violence and poverty,
pandemic and code violations.
What’s next for you, asks the reporter.
“I would like to buy a little beach bar
in the Virgin Islands—grill shrimp,
sell margaritas, rent our snorkel equipment.
that’s what I would really like to do….

But
If your grandmother on Argyle Street
calls and says the storm sewer is backing up
and there’s water in her basement?
We can get that handled in an hour…
It has an impact.
It’s very rewarding.”

So. What to do with this?
He wishes for a tan and endless
limes, but I’ll bet grandma would wish
him to stay on the job.
Even though grandma watches the
water rise in her cellar and dreams
of being someone else, somewhere else.

Why are we granted this life in the world
and this whole other life in our head
where we dream of a beach or a love
A foreign city, or making art?

While I try again—
Again
to puzzle this out
the puppy who has Everything
can’t settle, obsessed
with dragging his bed onto my lap
And I run out of time to fiddle with words
because it’s time to get ready for
work in the world we share

enough, time

Back when there was no time
to think, I used to think
if only
I had more time
to think
I think I would
grow calm, peace-filled
almost saintly.
But then ( I think)
Look at him, with nothing but time
to think
and all he thinks is
he doesn’t know
what to think
about
all this time

painted like the ocean

Another person I’d like to meet—
The guy (somehow, I know it is a guy)
in the dilapidated back road double-wide
with a Porta-Potty in his front yard,
lawn with latrine instead of lantern.
That alone might be enough
to make you interesting—
but then you painted it ocean colors
waves of blue, deeper blue, pale green, black
starlit sky painted above that sea
in your muddy yard, beneath the real stars

occupied

The puppy drags his bed
around the house
He keeps busy.
I hold my breath
and overwork

first snow fall

first snow fall
covers the signpost
for the summer road
we counted ourselves lucky
to walk—the hill view,
donkey in the pasture,
occasional deer,
us laughing loud enough
to alert the neighborhood bears
all tucked away now for a
different season
I wave as I drive past

unexpected turns

driving and listening
podcast about
unexpected turns
that change our lives
My own twists and turns
led to this—two children
beloved in the world where I
drive to work through
autumn hills, puppy
in the back seat and
Right then—
Right that minute
bird, brown and red,
dives by and misses
my windshield
by a breath
flies off into
his own unexpected life

my whole life, someone at the door holding out our coats

world full of others
urging me to hurry too
even you, puppy

outside—wind, rain, dark
that’s the whole point, your eyes say
universe of scents

I brew tea, bemused
dreams, words, drifting leaves
Let’s wait for—a while

You always say that

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

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