Every miserable day
and good one
near the water
or in a hospital
My manta of gratitude
for functioning legs and serotonin uptake
and every last hug
for a soundtrack
and good enough health
for those I love to make it to sunset
Chaos and uncertainty
are too tight socks
and leaving deep ruts
but limbs intact
if a tad blue
When I manage to roll them off
a more seamless state slowly returns
The heart relentless
doing its work
NaPoWriMo Day 27
When truth provides
no real comfort,
hope wraps her
like sturdy arms,
murmurs alternative facts
with conviction in her ear.
Sometimes, she takes refuge there:
a home with unlocked doors,
words pretty as sunrise,
futures rich and enticing as crème brûlée.
NaPoWriMo Day 23
Sometimes you need to move seats,
change your view, to change
I’ve spent 25 windowless years
in a heavily windowed building.
The work done gives me glimpses
of a different world, one much
kinder and more caring than
what flickers on television.
I see hope on the papers
I push. On display: small hands
and hearts about to alter everything.
Don’t fear the message of the moment
being broadcast … or the messenger.
The fleeting old. They are already lost.
Who I work for matters most.
I put my trust there, in their
and inclusive composition.
Sometimes you need to move.
NaPoWriMo Day 20
You wouldn’t know it from the photographs,
moments chosen so they wouldn’t forget,
not to deceive. Corroborative images showing
that they smiled and laughed. Incontestable
evidence that despite assiduous heartache,
joy and hope burrowed in and fought
to regain solid purchase.
NaPoWriMo Day 18
Tuck the napkin tight under your chin.
Grown or not, grease will find
its way to your silk tie, soak in
and leave its mark. The world’s
most beautiful chocolate cake.
Let them eat it. And when they
become obese, send them for a walk
on the golf course. A swing and a miss.
Policy requires flexibility. Who knew
It would be so hard? I once invested
with an unethical broker who lost
my humble nest of eggs. Maybe
he misplaced them on his yacht?
But we get to keep the things
we like: mother bombs and pre-existing
is only theory. Where’s the evidence
a tantrum in North Korea melts ice caps
and endangers the sabertooth?
If a giraffe birth and murder
can be live-streamed, it’s time
to choose what’s behind curtain
number three. The price is not right.
No syndication rights available. The
remote remote should remain lost
under the cushion. Turn it off. Learn
to read. The answer will not be found
wrapped in gold leaf. Instead of saving
some, save it all. Buy…nothing
you can’t scratch and sniff or squeeze.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy
far, far away, humans had humanity.
Sword was pulled from stone.
The public demands a sequel. Suspend
NaPoWriMo Day 16
I imagined her in college
or backpacking in Belize
working some 9-to-5 job that she loved or hated
so that she could earn enough money to cover her rent
and the cost of clubbing with her friends
making art and living in our basement
joining AmeriCorps and teaching children how to read
spending hours wandering in museums for inspiration
rarely leaving her room because she was so engrossed in creating new apps
or never being home because her social needs were so high that she was always out
in the world and we wished at least once a month she’d stop long enough to eat dinner with us
as a young, single, loving mother
on a boat in rough seas with Greenpeace protecting whales
researching grad school programs and stressing over paying back student loans
single and ambivalent about the status
obsessed with locating and meeting her birth parents
working in a tattoo parlor
preparing for medical school
skating in the Olympics
building a tiny house with her girlfriend near the edge of a lake next to the greenest forest
base jumping in every continent
All is less than optimal
it is not the future
that any parent imagines
I didn’t envision
the organ failure
the speech therapy
and special education services
wrapping my arms around my tiny-in-frame but adult-in-age daughter
as she buried her head against my stomach
her body shaking
as we went to visit
the program she’ll enter
when she graduates from high school in June
My language is foreign to my peers
they struggle to understand and respond
mishear my hope and optimism
as acceptance or surrender
to this abrading future
Although I’ve learned to mine the joy and beauty
in the oddest of overlooked cracks
no dreams have been conceded
as I attempt to swallow with some grace
each of these real days
February 3, 2017
At it again
the trees are greening
defiant of the chill wind
and dusting of snow
In their stripped state
brown and still
they can pass for dead
They bend under
or pushed hard
by pitiless nature
I’ve seen her like that
so gray and wooden
I’m certain she’ll snap
and plummet irrevocably
I hold my breath
and my grief
remember the forest
and dream of one more spring
NaPoWriMo Day 12