My resident robins had been expecting for some time, and when I saw Dad depart their nest beneath the garage eaves yesterday with what appeared to be poo in his beak, I figured the bundles of joy had arrived. I had confirmation today when I saw Mom perched atop a fencepost, an earthworm wriggling in her beak. She seemed […]

  at last, from others’ far-flung pastures, where the grass seemed greener for a season. And regard me with their soft eyes, their damp noses, their giant gentle bodies, tented flanks hollow with the long journey, their many stomachs rumbling. They are more beautiful than I remembered. I have waited so long, all these years […]

Drop of rain in smoke tree leaf

I love each plant too much, but not blindly. I’m aware of their redemptive force, how they came to be here partly from my need for correction of some mysterious but fatal error I made in ancient time, before memory — not just the discrete failure to care for those two grand old trees, but some bigger and unforgivable mistake. For years, I have dreamed sporadically that I have murdered some unknown person and been found out, that I have irreparably taken another’s life and ruined my own.

Except for the circumstances,  it was a thoughtful present — a reproduction antique washstand I might have used in my old-fashioned Western-themed bedroom.  But three years ago, it was a dissonant gift from my soon-to-be ex, who already had one foot out the door. What I wanted — from each of us — was something […]

  We rose,  I want to say, became who you dreamed we were. Realized our better nature, I long to say, because I want to see you whole again. But we have fallen farther than your deadest imagining, and your heads are always broken. Jack’s skull perpetually shatters in Dallas, shatters into Jackie’s lap. It […]

National Public Radio’s excellent StoryCorps project aired a deeply touching segment on Friday, just ahead of the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination.  The reflections of then 17-year-old busboy Juan Romeo, who attempted to comfort RFK seconds after he was shot, are a potent reminder of what we lost that night. Click on the […]

  Take the dawning sun, warm on your face. Hold the icepack to your jaw. Wait on the ibuprofen. Consider: What makes the morning fine? Where is your current complaint, your past grief, your future worry? Where is your optional suffering now? Tooth 29 pulses in its damp cave, throbs and recedes, circles back, stabs. […]

Am I embarrassing myself? A reasonable question:  I’d just posted a poem that invoked love, loss,  Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca and included a joke about sex.  I cannot count the ways that might be bad. Poetry is new territory for me.  It arose from a desire for something freer:  language liberated from […]