Tilson (A Poem)

Margaret asked,
“Do you want his letters?”
And my grandmother said no.
My grandmother’s memory
of her brother
never faded.
Year upon year
to her,
he remained crystal clear.
And one day,
his fiancé,
who’d kissed his coffin
when he came home,
asked if she should return the letters
he wrote to her.
“Those belong to you,”
my grandmother answered.
Letters and pictures –
these are the things we hold onto.
But it’s the memories
that keep our loved ones
with us
when they’re gone.
We –
not words or pictures
or gravestones –
we become their legacies.

Some Phone Call; Or, What We All Need to Hear (A Poem)

Can you hear me?
It’s me, that is, you,
calling from the future –
not so distant but who’s counting
as we edge closer to forty –
to tell you:
Drink more water.
And please eat the cake.
Tell people you love them,
and share what you like.
Getting laughed at isn’t so bad.
Remember that time we forgot
that thing? Yeah, that really important thing?
Turns out, it wasn’t so important after all.
Funny how that happens.
I wish I could say
in sentences that make sense and feel complete
that I’m proud of us,
even though we often forget to eat.
(You should probably work on that.)
That we should sing more and worry less.
That it’s okay we can’t ride a bike.
(No, you still haven’t tried to learn.
No, you don’t really care.)
And your hair? Luxurious. Leave it.
(And say thank you for the compliment,
instead of just nodding your head, awkwardly.)
You’re not a mess.
At least, not any more than anyone else.
We’re all just out here,
pretending to know what we’re doing,
even after all these years.
So don’t let fear get in your way, okay?
If I had more time…
Can you…
I’m losing…
…just one…thing

Three Spring Haiku

Each year I’ve waited
For the little frogs to peep
The first sign of spring

Birdsong all around
Morning dew in the meadow
Breathe a sigh of spring

Last night I saw them
The first of the year’s fireflies
Summer’s on the way

Home (A Poem)

I’ve built my house,
on a bed of dreams,
a million little hopeful timbers,
with nails made of joy and grief.
Life takes hold of us that way,
you know –
the sweet made sweeter
by bitter loss,
the loss made better by
the time that came before.
Funny, that I didn’t even realize,
how the building and building
never felt like a chore.
And now, my house moves
with me wherever I go,
but also stands
forever at a crossroads,
a perpetual choice between
this and that
or that or that.
And though it doesn’t matter,
I wonder:
How many lives have I
not chosen?

Good Morning, May Monday! (Thoughts, and a Poem)

It’s a new week, and a new month! I’ll have a short story out on Wednesday (April’s, just a little late), and in the meantime, I’m playing catch-up from our weekend with family (which was lovely and, as usual, too short). It’s looking to be a busy week, and you know, I’m really fine with that. I always feel like I have more energy and more determination in spring. It’s like watching the earth come alive again makes me feel more alive, too.

So, onward! And here’s a poem to get the week started. 😊 Happy creating, y’all!


Lady May (A Poem)

Crowned in flowers
and robed in sunshine,
Lady May walks now
from slope to valley,
forest to river
to field and pasture.
And in her dewy wake,
she lines them with color,
paints them green and blue
and pink and white,
bright yellow and regal lavender,
and leaves behind
the joy and hope of a world
come alive once more.

I Am Somewhere Else (A Poem)

You’re talking to me,
I know,
and I sort of, mostly hear you.
See, I’m not quite here
(though not quite not) –
I’m somewhere else,
far away
right in front of you.
It’s not one place,
so I can’t tell you where,
or when,
or exactly how I came to be there.
Or even, truthfully,
when I might be back.
You’re frustrated,
I can tell,
but just consider this:
How wonderful to travel
without tickets
or borders
or worries about time and money
and a place to stay.
I’m lucky, I think.
…what did you say?

The Clock (A Poem)

How funny,
to race against
a stationary object,
as if time cares
about our projects
and our deadlines.
The clock ticks and tocks –
it does not see
or know
or participate
in the too-fast days
of our lives.
And really,
we build them that way,
don’t we?
We fight with the
never-ending turning of the globe,
like boxers in a celestial ring,
but the ring is empty,
save for us
and all of our to-do lists.
Wouldn’t it be nice,
then, to just stop –
not the clock,
but ourselves –
and insist on a slower pace?
And why don’t we?
I mean, seriously,
who ever made the rule
that busy is better?
I’d rather not be,
thank you.
I’m not mad, exactly,
but I do think this is bad.
See, the work will
be here.
But I won’t.

Ready (A Poem)

All around, I hear it:
The hum of new life –
of growing things,
buzzing and flying,
a gentle flap of beating wings,
the stir of wind through the blossoms –
this song that each year nature sings.
It seems that here,
in a season and a blur,
no more than a blink,
we are suddenly,
all of us,
ready for spring.