Planting Bulbs

Warm soil still,
the trowel
slips in next
to Earth’s worms
burrowing beneath
frost lines
as temperatures
drop.

I dig
to plant,
spelling green
to push out
of ivory bulb
and tissuey skin
to force a bloom
another year.

She watches,
leaning against
the kitchen sink,
her birds
still hanging North,
‘I can’t wait
to see the
tulips, next Spring.’


An Eclogue: Water Shots

The concrete sizzled     sunshot
sand littered its path blown from the beach
in waved ripples leading to the lake-
peeling off layers of hoodie and Jordan’s,
tiny granules
locked into
the cracked heel
of her sockless foot.
The memo shut off water-
city school kids drown
in pools or beaches,       in puddles collected
on the streets of embattled gutters
or an open fire hydrant.

Carefree,
she followed conspirators to a fountain
built in the renovation of the old beach house
on the south side           usually left out.
Let me do this      away from the corner on the block -
bullets popping me to get someone else -
I need to cool off from this heat - real talk.

Sliding sideways through the circled rifles of water,
she giggled joyously in folly
fearlessly.     her foot on a fountain,
to the delightful screams of others-
she moved,
it shot her.


Nightmare

All we had
were pints
at the bar,
not enough
to hang
a hat on;


shouting
through
the din-
sitting close
to hear,
not connect.


But his skin,
remembered,
covers me
at night
like snow sans
paw prints;


the quiet,
resilient
to interlopers,
muffles
fear-
lullabies a
good night.


For It Is Spring

Snow floats
quietly on evening
vanishing before
hitting ground;

April’s cruel joke
on crocus and daffodil
huddle shivering
under baby's blanket;

sluggish earth
absorbs icy dew
quenching tubers’
winter thirst;

for it is spring.

Little Pink Houses

And I fell in love all over again
Listenin’ to a rock n‘ roll station;
I met my own boy from Indiana who thought-
ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby.


Smart as a whip and head full of dreams,
I blushed, "Boy, you're gonna be president."
I’d slide next to him on the worn leather seat
when he’d pick me up in his Cadillac Brougham,
I would swim in the blue of his eyes as
he whispered in my ear pulling me closer,
"Hey darling, I can remember that you could stop a clock."


And there’s winners, and there’s losers
and I’ve lost him to all these years
But they ain't no big deal ‘cause I am still
Listenin’ to a rock n‘ roll station
and I can hear his tender promise
Little pink houses, babe, for you and me.

Warm Keeps Better Company Than Cold

Cold companion,
black evening
sits unwelcomed,
draperies shut
tight against
icicle'd panes,
wintry whistles
rattle tea cups,
tepid water
sits undisturbed.

Unforgiving,
minutes are hours
tripping seconds
spent in quiet,
numbing senses;
I feel nothing-
even no one
fails to produce
temporary
relief from self.

Some months ago,
the open door
framed leaves budding
against a blue
languorous sky,
lazy sunlight
settled on sills
disturbing dust,
its warmth pulling
stiff out of me.

Cockled company,
the heart beats deep,
rhythmically,
penetrating
extremities
leaving no point
alone to fend
for its lonesome
during springtime
or summer solstice.




















Time Change

The sun hit the room in a sideways slant
the first day that clocks turned back;
I sat at my desk staring out the window
listening to the quiet of the afternoon
letting its mellow rays penetrate me;
I forgot the drive home would be dark.

I take it all in at once never leaving
holding on to every chance making
it impossible to let go and be alone.

If you were my friend, you’d love me,
not later, not forever, not before,
but in the quiet of the autumn sun
when the dark isn’t a consideration

and the hour is twice as long.