Dark Water

No more winter clothes, ferrying to
the island, nor the pines and willow
shaped as a large turned-up palm.
Among other things shed long ago:

Pulling out the bread drawer and
the one above it to create stairs to
the kitchen counter, at a time when
such a setup supported girl-weight.

When they became too much to care for
we let a pair of rabbits into the field,
but they returned all winter to be fed
and so a bag of pellets was kept on hand.

Bicycling home this week I realized
nine years has passed since I last saw
the first red-breasted robin of spring.
Where I live now are mockingbirds.

Age: you change the locks each morning
with no regard given to leaving a key.
Time moves, releases itself, like it or not,
so I write down what I remember:

Winter clothes and adventuring along
gray rocks spilling into the dark sound
where once we fished for salmon, and
where I’m certain sea lions still swim.

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Two Halves and a Human

Being a woman,
yes I write about
that which turns life
into the unstable tops
of white-froth waves.

Being a girl,
my mind envisions
when I can next wear
the lemon-print sundress
and with which shoes?

Being both,
I wonder if it is okay
to walk among you showing
both halves of myself
at the same time.

(April 29, 2019)

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At the Piano

It might have me reveling in
Sunday morning and the gift of
a home among mature trees;
together we are an orchestra.

We hold this pattern, each day
returning to familiar notes much
alike, contemplating the scale of
an experience again and again.

Then, changing rhythm signals
life moving into its new phase.
Sometimes this is a yearning,
sometimes resolution. Both.

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Notre Dame

Not leaves, not petals, not seasons:
this we know comes and goes, as do
the bodies of men, animals, the living.
If growth pairs with passing, in our
impermanence did we believe that
what our hands built would last?
Bricks erode to sand, wood to ashes,
colors let go of themselves under
a sun that science claims is dying.
Before then, islands will submerge
as new mountains give rise to nations
destined to fall. One day all this will
whittle down into strata in the rock,
dust in air, circulating, undetected.
But, think of it in such way that we
are grounding and dancing at once,
intertwined with everything that has
existed, returning to again become
the single nameless whole. Please
remember: we are in this together.

(written April 16, 2019 in response to the Notre Dame fire)

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Notes in a Drawer

Some sweep errors of the past under rugs;
I am a corner-of-the-bottom-drawer girl.

Some months ago, maybe five, maybe six,
it became time to no longer bear the weight

that no one means to haul around for so long,
but the mind somehow revels in punishment.

In the hallway, bending to the lowest drawer
where for more than a year hid folded papers

I looked them over once, knew it was done;
had known earlier on but would not admit it.

Where they are now is lost and gone; notes
last seen upon letting down the lid of the bin

no longer hold séance in my home, nor conjur
old mistakes back to life. Forward, now, finally.

(February 22, 2019)

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Small Movements

I believe in libraries, in used books,
and the parts of life that we are
blessed to touch with bare hands
the way I feel alive and at peace
cutting herbs from the garden,
or hanging clothes onto the rack
one by one so they appear as an
ordered design, to the extent that
when I open my closet doors they
expose a fabric painting. This way,
each day begins and ends with art.

I believe in the experience of life
being pulled from the ordinary,
deriving joy from activities like
swirling syrup into my oatmeal
each morning as the sun circles
my white Spanish home on the hill
and enters through the window
from which I stand and delight in
newly born leaves on the trees
and birds building nests therein,
calling morning to night, I tell myself
because they are alive (do they or we
need any other reason to celebrate?)
And the squirrels running the lattice
who drive both dogs mad with glee;
I hear them too, knawing on seeds
in the Cyprus outside my bedroom.

That the small movements of the world
are as important as our ability to sense them
and that everything we touch we become
and this can be good: I believe in this, too.

(Written March 30, 2019 as an ode to the joys of a simple life and a lovely apartment.)

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