Poems

Promise Me


You will sit on the grass

And watch the cemetery men

Come down the hillside.


You won’t be bothered

If they bump my box, you will stay,

Be last instead of them.


You will believe what you always have 

In peace and the procession of seasons

To ease the pain (what else can be said, really).


You will sit on the grass

If you aren’t already beside me

(like this morning)

Legs intertwined into mine.




Math Problem


My daughter doesn't like decimals and I don't care.

Not tonight. There will be no homework fight.


She is 10. Not .10 of 100 or 1% of 1000. Not a slice

of a pie or a fraction of herself or who she will become.

She is whole number, a factor to deal with, and some

days I would say she is Prime, a product of Herself x 1.


My daughter doesn't like decimals and I don't care.

Not tonight. It is twilight, and she is playing outside.




I killed it


It lost focus - 

excited, or old

Either way, death smacks hard.


Its guts, red tangled in fur

hit twice

front and back wheels 

both.


The sun is brilliant

swallowing up the morning commute.


It is cold.


If I had stopped -

hovered my hands above its entrails

it would have warmed me, exhaling 

itself over the road.




something about the sea


beneath your feet

the sand shifts, footprints

mark your passage

you could be followed


no one ever does


something about the sea

the gray blue range

the white noise of waves

dampens edges


(whatever they are)


makes us throw stones

launched side-armed

skipping three or

four times, if lucky.


it's a mercy of sorts.



Thursday Night with My Daughter in the Emergency Room


I don't know our religious affiliation

or

when she ate lunch

her height, if she pooped yesterday

what she weighs.


I don't tell we don't always eat 

regular meals

we microwave and graze.


I know she ate chips and salsa at 4

why her socks don't match.


She doesn't know what a bowel movement is, or

how to catch her pee.


The doctor knows appendicitis is different

in kids.

Not always middle to right, but

sometimes the left side too.


She knows now that a catheter stays in her


that it can be scary here

and the man down

the hall

is legless

yelling diddle diddle dee.


Blood, liver & heart

any part of me to her

I'd offer up.


Discharge papers take awhile.


Until we leave

we remain


2 peas

perfectly out of place.




In His Sleep


J. made a sound in his sleep, sad, like

he had lost something. And he has lost things:

his mother too young, his old Kentucky home.


The sound lasted a second. He tightened his jaw.

When he sleeps I like to look at him, his long legs

like the ocean, blue jeaned, flat out.


J. sleeps best in the afternoon sun.

He looks like summer waves, if a person can.