After I'm Gone

Green shoots push through
dirt muddied with winter debris-
broken branches - bark shards
soiled leaves - dried flowers
seed shells left by squirrels who
scam the garage’s bird feeder;


lukewarm sink water stains the lean,
gazing out the kitchen window
hoping to catch spring hatching
like the wet, yellow chickadees
that fight through their eggshell
under the museum’s heat lamps;


the hardy petal promised
should conquer April’s frost-
fight off the hawk that preys
on winter’s tight fisted hold
burying the brown lawn
in sand-like ice and snow,


but they hide from me,
when chores are done-
even after I’m gone.

Moon Bathing

I wanted it to eat me-
swallow me whole
and lose me
in its illumination
of the night sky,

but I couldn’t look-
afraid of tripping
on a rock only
to plummet into
a dark crater

and no real man
living on the moon
to catch  my
inevitable descent
back to Earth,

so I’ll lie still
on the ground,
eyes shuttered,
to absorb the orbs’
rejuvenating light

made of sun
and star

and crescent.

Winter Solitude

A figure stands in silhouette
on frozen sand grey
seen from the window
of a rented room-
the water should be iced,
yet runs up on the shore
dismissive of season and
the cold that makes every
thing else freeze in place.


I have turned the dial
on the thermostat
to warm the air
that circles the room
to keep off chill and
wonder at the figure, just there,
whose coat and scarf are
the only shield
against this arctic assault.


The fluid waving water
of the winter lake,
decidedly warmer than
the meteorological temperature
that headlines newscasts-
is not below zero,
so it is not frozen;
the figure moves along side,
seemingly not in want of company-
unaware of the cold that bears down
on those in isolating shelter.

Cold

The cold is quiet;
any fluid movement
that warm allows
pulls tight to crystal
settling deftly
on windshields
and edges of lawn
to frame sidewalks.
For this moment,
on first breath,
I can hear everything
and nothing at all;

I am still.

Moon Flower

Her bloom does not
stretch to touch the sun -
her trumpet petals
open to midnight sky -
call of island coqui;


in life, she lived
in shadows of convention
behind pots of beans
and flowered oilcloths
dulled by soap and scrub.


Equatorial days split
between dark - perhaps,
forgotten ambition;
and light - likely,
routine crumbs house kept;


at night, salsa beats
away from the kitchen;
the moon flower watches
orchids run up palm trees -
dancing with the dark -
her spirit rises from day’s dust.

Lake Michigan in February
Shot with IPhone 6Plus

Widow's Weeds

Crepe is draped
across the canopy
of the bedposts as
I lie in repose.

Heavy skirts sweep
the wooden floors
picking up dust-
unsettling past.

I lock my hair
in an ornament,
yours too fine
to scissor cut.

Jet courses through
veins vacant
of life lived before
you came

and went.