Tag Archives: memories

Sleeping Dogs


All the holes dug and packed with discards
and prizes to be unearthed later. It’s the treasures
she hopes to rediscover, tucking those
items away so they can’t be taken from her
or disabused by others.

The shelter life taught her
you can’t count on holding on to anything
much for long. Things are not really yours.
Even the good days, laden with abundant
affection, always end. Darkness inevitably
settles back, capping her in alone.

Today, she sleeps in the sun, content
and positioned nicely with hole vantage.
She can wake and walk free, search her trail
of treasures and sink her teeth into delights
secreted. If what she digs up instead
is something tattered nearly beyond
recall, something she placed far
underground and meant to leave behind
for good, she’ll still manage
to find pleasure in her willful act
of uncovering.

Day 6


An Uneasy Green


There was pond scum here
Coating the water’s surface
She circled
Trailing a path
Of desiccated leaves
That obscured all evidence
Of the exceedingly plump groundhog
That called this hill home

She’d once written a poem long ago
About a groundhog’s destruction
And her raking pond scum into a trap
Altering the surface
But not what lurked underneath
The redwood-wrapped house
Overlooking another body

Half a country away
And still hunted by water-loving vermin
She’d learned to see the beauty
In the floating green fur
But the smell of decay and rot lingered
Even after she removed herself
Far from the original source



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

eggs in one basket



all the talk of rolling stones
resurrection and baskets
bunnies and eggs
spotless white robes
wrapping the grief
while the ham cooks
and the house smells of potatoes

the sun angles
to reveal every perfection
while she mourns bonnets
and parades
parading in general
thankful grass remains ritualized
though modernized
paper or plastic

she’s hiding things now
watching the search
with yearning
the taste of pear on tongue
posed on the cement stair
holding fixed chocolate smiles
planning nose to neck naps
that can only end with waking

April 2015
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 5





Quicker than a snap chat image fades,
those mornings wrestling arms
into sweaters, arched torsos
into car seats, driving cross town
to the best you could do
and afford child care,
in truth, the only available infant
slot you could find,
the soft woman from India,
Malti, who rocked your baby,

fed her peaches in a swing.
Jumping off the side of the Y
pool. Knocking books from the shelf
so he could squeeze his long gone,
chubby behind into the nook
and nap there. One more
volume in a library too large
for you to ever amply navigate.

August 2013
Julie Ayers



Aviary Photo_130114739395645633

My friend has a delicate blue bird
tattooed on her inner arm
midway between wrist and elbow
accompanied by three distinct dots
one for each of her babies
who she prods and loves into extraordinary

At my church
quiet and kind Grandmother Bette
with a beautiful lavender butterfly
on the fine and fragile skin above her outer wrist
honoring her small granddaughter
who died in intensive care
after surgery

My nephew’s arm covered in stars
and an ancient ship with sails
riding a stormy sea
a tribute to the journey
of his indomitable grandfather

The home healthcare nurse
who ministered to my daughter’s many needs
for more than a year
adorned with names in script
for each of her children

Floating between my shoulder blades
a butterfly
testifying to seasons for transformation
and how what might look like death
may actually be another beginning

April 26, 2013
Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo #26

Baby Gifts



The first thing my daughter ever gave me
was a dried up piece of her umbilical cord
when I lifted her from her plastic bassinet
in the transition nursery of the hospital

We’d just met
so it seemed an awfully trusting thing to do
letting some of herself go like that at once
into my unproven hands

Roosevelt, my great-niece
fresh to this world and who I’ve yet to hold
but I see on Facebook
capturing hearts in the middle of the country
gave me back my brother
overlaid on his son
as he cradles his sleeping infant daughter
against his chest

These untried babies
so full of guileless generosity
keep offering us life

April 23, 2013

Julie Ayers

NaPoWriMo #23