Whidbey

Some mornings, I almost
get through fastening
my wristwatch before
I remember he is gone. 

I pad across our
lush orientals to the
window: grass brilliant
as he liked it and then,
behind, the towering
Olympics.

Here, on this island,
I live amongst his
things — snapshots
from safaris in gilded
frames, Japanese
silk fans, medals
from presidents. 
I consider leaving,
joining life
on the mainland of
gabbing people 
and supermarkets. 
But day after day,
I don’t — choosing instead
this foggy Western
silo, his shirts
still crisp in the closet.

Growing Up

Here’s the thing — you don’t
want to do this, ever. 
Keep your myths close
and your parents
closer.

This stuff of aging
happens in darkening
rooms, spaces overfull
with distant relatives and
peeling photo albums.

When you get home,
your bath feels too 
scalding, so you
let it drain slowly,
silently, and 
then sit in
the empty tub.

Billingsgate

Perched on the edge of the land
grown thick with pine
and tidal pools of sand,

there was, reaching skyward, a fine
old hotel, with turn-of-the-century
turrets and stately lines.

On the porch: wicker chairs for ladies
to retire in the hot afternoons
spent by the unrelenting sea.

Who could have known that soon
in a Northeastern squall
this castle would tip past the dunes

and make it’s elegant, and permanent, fall?

 

 

The prompt was to write a poem in terza rima; here is my attempt.

Workbook

Los pájaros comen fruta.
Las gatas beben leche.
El hombre come el pollo.
Es un caballo.
Yo bebo jugo.
Yo cocino una papa.

What a simple world
I am able to create
and delight in:
the man eats the 
chicken, and there is
no more and no
less to that story.

And if I want to
cook a single
potato? I can do it,
drinking juice
like in the days
of my youth (although
only, of course, in
the present tense).

Meanwhile, the cats
drink milk and
the birds eat fruit
in a place that is
neither outdoors, 
nor in, and I spot
a horse out the 
window, putting
its simple name
to my lips.

Field Guide

The green frogs
outside
celebrate the evening,
crying out
over each other
like a thousand
sisters.

When we come back
from fighting
over dinner, the
orange light of
dusk is piercing
through the house,
a spirit. It throws
itself out across
the lawn, casting
steep shadows.

By the time
we settle into our
own beds, the
frogs will have
turned in for the
night too, and
a tentative
calm will pervade
the wild night.
But for now,
for hours now,
they will keep
singing, tirelessly,
their single note.