Chasing a Poem
It swirls like a tempestuous
in a snarly wind
I cannot grab—no edge to catch
winking at me
Do you really think, it says
I can stop for you?
I have no substance or stability
I’m gold-dust leaf
a filament spun in starry flight
I seek a galaxy or more
Stop! I cry, there are stark emotions and
penalties to explore
a thousand feelings to relate
a thousand bald stories to create
if you would cease your restless flight
But you are a kite dipping and plunging
like a naughty plaything
I cannot grasp your tail
or slow your catatonic gale
to mold you to beauty’s form
The burning vision of my immortal soul
Do you really think I cando without?
Selected for Banfill-Locke Chapbook October 2015
A Penny A Kiss
Chapter 1 Eastern Beginnings
Being born was easy. All I had to do was open my mouth and scream, and I was initiated into the world. After that nothing worked. I never paid any attention to growing up or any of that. Life just drifted, carrying me along like an insect floating downstream on the current, upside down, legs in the air or belly flopped and watching the watery scene below move by. It was an easy way to go through life, buoyed and cushioned from the responsibility of walking on hard surfaces.
Even now, memory dim, I look back through a fog and see only feeble outlines. I see the house where we lived in Washington, D.C., and I recognize the upstairs bedroom where my mother sat in a maple rocking chair silently sewing at the window under a print of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy hanging on the wall above her. Her white fringed blouse and rose colored necklace shone soft in the yellow light.
I walked into the room and across the blue carpet flowing like a vast pool of velvet in front of me. There I stood staring at her through the stillness, watching her creamy white hand draw the needle into the air, curve around and pierce the needle into the garment, lengthening a neat row of stitches. I wanted to sit on her lap to soak in the warmth of her bosom and look out the window, but her lap was a flurry of business. Her hand waved back and forth, consuming the space above the lap I coveted. Even at age four, I understood in some visceral way that when she hid away in her room like that it was a stay-away signal.
A Minnesota Girl