Author Archives: Cate

Unbecoming

  Suddenly I find it odd that my arms terminate in hands — these firm and meaty pads, the bony fingers extruded in opposition to the outliers, these peculiar thumbs. Who designed these naked anomalies, wrinkling and weathering with the years? Where are my clever paws, their dexterous beauty, their soft and ageless fur? A […]

Tolerance

It’s not true, what they say. God often gives you more than you can handle, then stands back and observes as you adapt.  Or perish, like the infinite others who were given more than they could handle and are no longer here to say so. God is not cruel, just curious, like a researcher whose […]

Restored

I saw you there the night before, a leggy black pearl against the glossy white tub, and made a note: Spider. Remove before showering. And the next morning remembered too late, and bore your sodden body to the sunny deck rail where I had meant to leave you, alive. And lay you there gently, lifted […]

Let our complaints

You haven’t long to love this world to claim the blood washing the awakening sky to feel the wren’s song swelling your open throat that later will clench to imagine the bewildered doe leaving her speckled child there along the road where the car struck it. Now untangle the tortured skein of the life you’ve […]

Sprinkling the dead

Having been watered, they might grow. Rupture the soft lie of silk and mahogany, the sullen concrete casings, and emerge in the bardo of possibility, small imperfect seeds feeling again the tug of the sun.

Tullio Di Sandro sings

a song of remorse a song for the dead muddled in his native tongue in his immigrant heart wanting life for her not death Mia figlia, il mio cuore  a dirge for what cannot be undone a lament for love and fear wed in the catastrophic instant she dropped from his coarse and tender hands […]

Keeping busy

Not long ago, I wrote a relative in the chatty way one writes relatives, with whom meaningful conversations are apparently impossible, involving, as they might, honest emotion. She told me about the weather, and grocery shopping. I described what I had been doing, an unremarkable assortment of mostly pleasant activities: reading, writing, running, puttering about […]

Americana

A few years ago, a good friend who lives in Kansas drove 30 miles to another town to judge the Sorghum Queen contest for the Stevens County Fair.  Nineteen young women competed for the honor,  which I assume is thus named because sorghum — a cereal grain used in livestock feed, ethanol and certain human […]

The lullaby you finally hear

So wickedly prescient that foreshadowing opener Rock-a-bye baby on the treetops Rock-a-bye and you’ve scarcely said hello to the world. When the wind blows the cradle will rock gently for a time. When the bough breaks you will fall through your life down baby down cradle and all the ground some unknowable distance beneath. So […]

Sound and fury

The Fourth of July is a quintessentially American holiday, composed of over-the-top visuals, deafening noise, national self-aggrandizement and victimization of vulnerables, especially dogs, thousands of which will run away, cower in terror, or simply wet themselves. I may well do the same, as each year, I find myself more averse to these cacophonous, polluting celebrations […]