Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Farewell

On Thanksgiving weekend, I learned that a significant portion of the original Our Place will be sold on Friday. (For a description of the place for which this blog is named, see here.) The physical Our Place is very dear to me, and I'm grateful that I managed a super quick trip back to say goodbye today. Perhaps I may find words to share about this. For now, a few pictures:


Monday, November 14, 2016


Getting up, I dreamed already
of walking in the woods--
those few miles stashed
in the crooked arm
of Route Six and Torrence.
I had to wait 'till after school
and taking out the dog, and even then,
even walking leaf-incensed paths,
I still felt a'jitter toward myself
and the world.

Three others passed,
one wielding hiking poles and striding
shcrunch, shcrunch as if the trail
were more than a mile, as if she were
an arrow tight for distant heights--
and two gingering along, a man
and a woman who carried a broken shoe.
When next I saw her, both shoes were off.
She went so gently, touching the world
through soft black socks.

Monday, October 31, 2016


In snapshot depictions
of our family's life, I see
so much reading:
Grandpa and The Roly-Poly Pudding,
The Hobbit and my dad.
My sister reads to me. I read to my brother.
The one who does not appear to read
is Mom--who read us a chapter
every evening, year upon year, unremarkable
as a hug goodnight.

Also, she was behind the camera.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


We are taking everything out of the house.
This includes your coat--
rough green-brown with large buttons, hard to manipulate.
The weight, as I lift it, surprises,
but hanging from my shoulders, I see
how men could walk in it, the thick fabric falling
below their knees.
I am a usurper in this heaviness
(Midwestern woman in the coat my grandpa wore);
I know only the lint of it:
Maui sunsets which still couldn't rival the Illinois farm's,
hot showers sneaked in the officers' quarters,
comrades who presented an enemy's teeth at a hospital bed, and
the enemy's wallet with faces of family.
I know when Japan surrendered everyone went out howling
but you sat and thought.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Facebook and the End of September

Today I read
ignorant words
from those I thought
my people.
Replying, I do not mind
how sharp I am.
Who cares if it hurts!
They're wrong!

Today I hear
voices crying
into an empty receiver.
If we could only listen,
perhaps we could find it --
a door through sorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Turning toward the chopper's sound, I see
a dragonfly on my shoulder.

And so

the message is not
dragged through the heavens,
but rests, instead, on my back--

lighter than sensation, filling
the softest edge of sight. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

No Island is an Island

"You're complicating my life,"
an offhand remark at work--
the speaker not knowing,
and not to blame,
that I hear in the words
of my darker fears:
I am a complication.
On balance,
I am more trouble
than I am worth.

I suppose, we all complicate
each others' lives.
Our root systems snarl,
fibrous root to spider-lace tip,
around each other.
You can't--
you cannot--
uproot yourself
without taking from others.

As a creationist spoke
of Antediluvian forests, I pictured
strange trees knit by tangle
of root and branch
into islands riding
a broad warm sea.
In such a case,
holds life together.