#17 — I’ll take it!

This fine day

Out popped the sun after eight or
nine months of winter, like a big
fat baby, but people being people bitched
about the cold. That damned cold sun,
they whined. I didn’t care, dashed outside
at first light in a short skirt, hair hiked into
pigtails like a harlot and pretended
to be warm, even drank some cold beer
before noon (alternating with smooth sips
from the pewter flask) in a brisk wind
with that damned cold sun on my face
while a flock of band-tailed pigeons cooed
in a big oak at the edge of the ninth tee.
The greens ran fast and the mud didn’t
plash past my ankles for once
in a long, long while. Blue sky shimmered
overhead like an impossible dream,
as improbable as hitting a decent drive
or a straight putt. So I breathed in the cool,
green spring, cherished that damned cold sun,
shivered with delight and cursed
this damned impossible game instead.


#16 — Wish I had it in a Jar

When I was oh, about 21 or 22, I had a cyst removed from my neck. The surgeon said it was a branchial cyst that formed due to a blocked vestigial gill slit remnant. So why am I such a scaredy cat in the water? I’ve always kind of missed that goitery gill lump. The thin scar travels from midway up the inside edge of my right ear down to the middle of my neck. Because of nerve damage from the surgery, a large area around my jaw sweats when I eat. I have to wipe my lips and my face with a napkin. Once a freak, always a freak.

Thanks to today’s prompt, that old long lost lump now has a name. Still, I wish it was in a jar on my shelf, that little piece of mermaid hacked out and tossed away.



#15 — Just Don’t Go There

Wordle: Pointless


Addressing old hurts
is pointless.
I have a new address.

#14 — Is that a poem in your pocket or….



Just Another Day

A harp-playing heron snickered
outside the office window
while the money plant trapped
in a glazed jade green pot begged
for attention on the desk. A sea
turtle blew bubbles on the harmonica,
ignoring chaos and clattering keys
from his vantage point  on the
file drawer shelf. The lobsters,
they never stop strumming. At last
the hours finally stopped ticking
when the door opened just a crack,
the river met up with her
hair, and the last wave from the
warming, rising sea swept her far,
far away from there.  

#13 — Something Fishy

I’m itching to go fishing. It’s that time of year. I can smell it. Unseasonably cold and yet, it tastes like spring.

To the Sea

We smell the ocean before
we see it. Steelhead,
the anadromous rainbow 
born in freshwater
spends its adult life
in saltwater, returns to freshwater
to spawn. Resident rainbows never
taste the sea. The decision
to leave is made by DNA.
If your parents are steelhead,
someday you will find
the ocean, too. Soft, fat
spring rain is making those
perfect ripples. Go, go.


Peace is what attempted to overcome
her the first time the overpass railing
began to melt beneath her leaning,
A river of light beyond a crevasse
of living, rushing beneath her booted
feet. Rain splashed her cheeks and
woke her briefly. Just in time. For
a time. She shuddered. She went on.

I do it for your love.

A sprinkle of clove and cinnamon sugar
on the baby’s rice, she knew without
knowledge, sooths his gums. He gripped
her hair and grimaced. Silence,
for moment. He shivered. He went on.

I do it for your love.

Unhinged, unroped. Duped into a semblance
of living. At dusk, with leaves falling, light
on water swirling, the tumble and turn
an alluring dream. The peace, the
dreadful hypothermic peace. Life goes on.

I do it for your love.

#11 — They’re Here!


The emptiness of unseasonable cold,
the most unbearable form of cold,
permeates the final buried layer
of epidermis, deflates the already
sagging lungs. Where is the slow,
silent awakening, the warming
and greening of fallow, frostbit soil,
the sudden budding of icy,
leafless limbs? Within the void of absent
spring, a state of sorrow persists until now.
A sudden flash of yellow on a yet-cold
afternoon, a streak of white, swift, electric, the
darting of winged bodies as tiny vagrants
cling to the feeder after arriving nonchalantly
in the city despite hail balls and April snow
from their neo-tropical winter in the
fragrant mountains of Mexico,
the sun-drenched hills of Costa Rica.
The arrival results in an anxious hope,
even as dark clouds gather, despite the lurking
of parasitic cowbirds, flitting in flagrant disregard
of pesticide-spiked lakes, thinning eggs,
shrinking swamps, and politicians
of a certain persuasion
whining about the loss of every little
thing that has ever brought misery
to a planet embattled by loneliness.
Except it’s not lonely anymore.
It is yellow and feathered and bright.

#10 — These Days

The Good Life, In Spite of It All

In the morning, our naked sleepy
bodies curled like geography into the
cotton choreography of freshly washed sheets.
First, the scent of French roast and the
strangely comforting on-and-on of the morning news.

Afterwards, after twisting inward towards
this and that and skin and scent and what
really matters, there are the things
we must do. Like get dressed. Such as,
shower. Scrub. Take the loofah to our asses.
Eat breakfast on the couch.
Begin to think about what’s next.
Plan for the future, even when the future
is such as it is, a quarter hour, four times
per hour, twenty-four hours per day,
like pouring a second cup, finding the unmatched
socks, buttering toast, frying bacon, scrambling eggs,
making ends meet. In the morning,
every morning, it is what is is.
We are who we are. We are. We. Us. This.
Is good.


#9 — Fight Your Way Out

Street Smarts

Under the bridge where the homeless camp,
a man in a black knit cap and torn army-green kilt
is demonstrating kung-fu moves, or perhaps it is karate.

One of his eyes is as
black and purple as the storm clouds
and swollen shut. A gusting wind rattles the pane.

Joggers, bent into the weather, trot along
the river path, oblivious. A spotted dog in a little yellow
coat darts unleashed around karate man’s ankles.

I sketch a leafless tree on a yellow pad
and remember that the rent is due and I am all out
of bread and eggs, but there is plenty of wine and butter.

The thin glass is streaked with rain and shudders
with leaking cold. Wind whips the branches as the street fighter
leaps into the air, spinning, kicking, jabbing.

I don’t know any moves like that,
wouldn’t know how to kick my way out.
Then, the demonstration is over.

The man waves goodbye to his friends,
pats the dog on the head and walks away
across the tracks, smiling.

#8 — Ahead of Spring

Brad’s ancient dracena houseplant bloomed for the first time. It is 25 years old and about eight feet tall. It looks like more like a tree than a potted indoor plant. The blossoms are starting to fade, but the place still smells like the tropics.


Lend me your bloom
this drop of honeydew
beckoning entry into a
distance summer place.
A flush of heat or perhaps
a blush of wind softening
frozen memories, whispering
all cherry and lemon and musk.
What a fine surprise, what
a delicious reckoning.


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