Friday, March 16, 2018

Dear One

for the (be)coming years

Dear One,

You were knit natural in the womb -
a Gemini
of bones and blood,
with the twin fullness
of creation,
born good, but, perhaps,
more at home
in the stars.

Dear One, this earthly life is hard -
as a mother
is unforgiving
of herself.

and unrelenting
in its condemnation
of any liberation
of the mind.

You are not made of common clay
for common hands
to trifle with.
You are not a collection of breaths
for others to spend
kindling fires
and burning time.
You are not even mine
to cage with my smothering love.

Dear One, listen
to my words,
hide them in
in your heart,
hear them
in the dark days.

Dear One, stay
natural as you were first knit
of strong stuff and star stuff
in the world of my womb.

Dear One,

find your tribe.
Find a girl.
Fall in love.
And never let
"ought to be"
stand in your way.

A letter for K's prompt at Real Toads

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


The only hope for a daughter
to silence her mother
is to tear her own tongue
                                       from her head.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Monday, March 12, 2018


An erasure by fire
from her diary of ash

      better                  burn                         
                               a                            liar 
than  to                                                       
 drown            an honest                           

Or, the straight version:

An erasure by fire
from her diary of ash-
it's better burn a liar
than to drown an honest rat

A tanaga for Toads.  Also submitted to Poetry Pantry 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Curtain Sky

I've had enough
back and forth
and grasping
curtain sky
open wide
but dreaming
is not sight

For Sanaa's prompt at Real Toads

Sunday, March 4, 2018

There Are Stories

In the pasture, dog harried horses hoove
the hollow ground.  The guts beneath the prairie grass
are gone.  The great alabaster bones creak and groan
like some old arthritic god.  These are the stories

my grandfather didn't tell me.
How the red dirt wind had teeth.
How it chewed holes in his mama,
leaving her a little crazy

and mean.  How any extra
food was left out at night
somewhere easy to steal
so as not to make beggars of men.
How malaria took chunks
of his childhood -ice baths and isolation
in a hospital no one visited
because it was too far off the farm.

He sang Yellow Rose
of Texas and walked
the floor with me cradled against
his strong, steady heart.
His hands were calloused
from days spent pulling
crude and beating the derrick drums,
but he always held me gently,
and there are stories he never told me.

For Poetry Pantry at Poets United

Friday, February 23, 2018


Sometimes I wonder if you hate
yourself the way I hate
myself, but I don't
after all these years I still don't
I just don't

A one-sided conversation for Real Toads

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When A Girl's Without Wheels

That old rust bucket Chevy on cinder
blocks stopped running right around the recession.
I've been holding place ever since.
When a girl's without wheels,
time stops and stalls.  Her gears
grind the years - like a stick shift
with a bad transmission.  I'd like
to visit myself somewhere,
but walking's hard
on my knees.  I content myself
with the heat mirage shimmering
off the blacktop.
When a girl's without wheels
anywhere is a good place to go.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads