Friday, April 18, 2014

Cork Taint

I miss you
when the wine 
sinks in
to my hollows
and swishes around
the sighing distance
between when
we were one
and then not

The longing leaves
rooted truffles
cellar corners
and sodden newspaper
in my mouth

But I don’t swallow
Knowing it had gone bad

Instead I pour
the black mold flecked regret
down the drain 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fish from the Sky

I can only hope
that when the trout
are dropped
from hundreds of feet
above water

That they are not 

That their fall
feels like flying

and the impact
feels like coming home. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Sophistry

I was conceived in the backseat of a white truck during a late summer thunderstorm

My mother trembling in her soaked sundress deathly afraid of lightening that cracked from sky to earth

Had locked herself out of the house and had taken shelter under the willow tree

He smiled when he saw her jumping and squealing with every growl of thunder, every forked tongue strike

Get in, he said reaching over to unlock the truck door.  She pulled her dress high on her smooth legs stepping up the on the slick running board.

She looked at the metal crates stacked on the bench seat then she looked at him, all sinewy and golden with a sideways smile

He watched her climb over to the back, her dripping wet dress plastered to her slick olive skin

We should wait out the storm he said crawling over crates and thunder rattled bottles

My mother always said I got my sea-blue eyes from the milkman...

Today's Poetry Prompt 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


There was a murder on union street

I am the one who finds him
Left behind
On the cold sidewalk

Motionless shadow
His black blending into the darkness
Only the sheen of cheek
Gives him away

Did anyone watch
from the wire
the half closed windows
in this sanitary section of town

Yet remain
By Those stumbling through
The 2 am hour

I stare down at him
the disheveled heap
sprawled at my feet
An untouchable 
A crushed velvet disgrace
His cracked blue-black mouth 
A howl locked in rigor
The harsh secret 
Echoes in the morning after

I must lay him down
in the garden
a potter’s field
locked between church walls
and choir verses

only then will
your Dead silence
bring me restful sleep

Monday, April 14, 2014

What If Walk

What if she didn’t leave?
What if she insisted they try something else?
What if they found it?
What if he lived?

What if I kept dancing and went to private school?

What if I never knew the dark corner of the abandoned shed? 
What if I was never asked?
Do I want to touch it?

What if I waited because I wanted to?
What if I studied and applied to ivy league schools?
What if I studied abroad?

What if I kept walking past the glass doors?
What if I left before the worst of it?
What if I did not take you back when you showed up at my door looking pathetic?
What if I didn’t run away fast enough after your fist slammed into my unexpecting belly?

What if I gathered my beloveds and my belongings?
What if I moved to Paris?

What if I didn’t have a miscarriage that Thanksgiving?

What if I trusted my instincts?
What if I told my secrets?
What if I keep my promises?

The only thing I can do is take one step forward each day through the tangled barbed wire weeds of wondering and know no matter what I am worth the walk 

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I never knew you
as that, only Gram
Who lived on the other side
of the house 
with sprawling double verandas
as if Dorothy's tornado travels
had brought a souvenir
from the deep south
to a dead end street
named after a joke

I see you 
in long flowered 
housecoats tending 
long flower beds
summer afternoons

I see you
sitting in Your chair
at the kitchen table
drinking tea
while we watched your tv
as you most perfectly
would deliver the set up
to our teenaged punch line
     what was he on to pick a name like that
     would you sit that way if a man was in the room

I hear you
hush and scold
with furrowed brows over your watery hazel eyes
as our laughter
echoed too loudly
through the pewter pot

I remember
Your Talking to Moses
Your teetering hiccup-like laugh
Your exasperated “Cappy…”
The separate beds but tales sneaking from one bedroom to the other
The coloring of Easter eggs using onion skins
The iridescent peach and rose Carnival glass 

I never knew you
or what you went through
after I left
The losses you had
of loves and health
and later mind
I only saw pictures of a woman
Once fleshful
dissolve into
the tepid tea of old age

I know despite it all
you were loved
and that is all there is
now left to say

Mary Magill
June 12, 1919 - April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Around Again

We walk in circles
finding it

To return to something
after years
and best intentions
slip by

to see how its changed
how you have changed
and yet remain
the same

Centuries pass

The first 
was filled with cold rain
steep climbs 
towards distant goals
pride was born here

the second 
was filled with friendship
strained and stretched
beyond one's comfort
Finding footing 
on the rocky shore
a start but not a finish

the third
was filled with hope
turned familiar fantasy
rolled back 
the shock snap
Releasing regrets

the fourth 
was filled with heartache
loneliness and longing
Seeking distraction
in the newfound

the next
will be

that's what we tell ourselves
as the days roll into years 
the wheels keep spinning
until there is nowhere
left to go