Thursday, August 17, 2017


I only dance
with other girls -
suns with coronas
of swirling skirts

or younger men -
moon blind
and easily eclipsed.

My dance
is a bellied beast,
a planet
panting drums.

I dance
till I'm slick with stars
and here gives way
to there.

For Susie's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Things Found When I Wasn't Looking

The Hanged Man in the spokes
of the paper girl's bike.
A tin cup
salt ringed like Saturn.
Wings without wounds
shed in favor of walking.
A key and a memory
of trees.

For the Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fair To Say

I guess it's fair to say
I grew up
oil field trash.
Never knew a man
to wear a suit
except the preacher.
Every Sunday
I put a quarter
in the collection.
Oh, Lord, may I
wake one day
with wings.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Starfish Quilt

Great-Grandma stitched
this old starfish quilt;
she never saw the sea.

Not with barns to build,
Mason jars to fill,
and children to feed.

I never knew her, but I've heard tell
she slept every night with a shell
held to her ear till she fell
into a salty dream.

For Margaret's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Green Corn Rebellion of 1917

In the Age of Lynching

a Working Class Union

was the Green Corn Rebellion

of whites, blacks, and Indians

draft dodgin' trash

saw a rich man's war

hid up on Spear's Mountain

and swore to resist

with dynamite and guns

all the way to DC

till a thousand man posse

hungry for justice

come to Seminole County

in August of '17

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Terrapins Cross The Road

for Johnny

Terrapins cross the road before it rains,
I explain.
His expression doesn't change -
same desire to please me.

He's 58 going on 3;
retarded, as it used to be
called, before bureaucracy
turned him into a person with . . . name malady.

Now there's outings he doesn't want to take.
Moves to integrate he doesn't want to make.
Terrapins cross the road before it rains,
I explain.
His expression doesn't change -
same desire to please me.

For Karin's prompt at Real Toads

Note:  Not long after the passage of the American's with Disabilities Act, the federal government outlawed the practice of placing otherwise healthy individuals with developmental disabilities in nursing home.  However, it allowed persons who had lived in nursing homes most of their lives (an many had!) to remain in place as long as special programs for independent living and community integration were provided.  The results were mixed and sometimes hilarious.  The story above is true. I laugh every time I remember pulling over to the side of the road to capture a terrapin for my client to examine, and my client's long-suffering tolerance for my enthusiasm.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Just Right

In the room where we do our living,
everybody has a chair;
Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Cub
(don't call her Baby Bear).

Mama Bear has a rocking chair
to rock back upright despite the news
on the TV that's always on
(she doesn't care for silence).

Papa Bear, when he's home at night, thrones
himself in leather and puts his feet up
(he's had a long day);
now, he's master of the remote.

The Cub (don't call her Baby Bear)
reluctantly rides the couch.
She's got better things to do,
but she's occasionally persuaded

by strawberry shortcake or guilt
to watch Law and Order with the elders.
Who killed Goldilocks?
Just right.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads