Creaky Floor

May 30, 2013

I tiptoe from my room

Make my way to the coffee pot

Sons, girlfriend, wife

And ex-husband

Slumber on sofas

The one extra bedroom

The air breathes with peaceful snoring

An unknown form turns over

I pause

Balance on one foot

Try to remember the board

But I miss it

I’m one over

The creak is substantial

Tells of age

The house and my own

My ex offered to repair it

Silence the pine

With screws

But I won’t let him

When everyone is gone

The Little House is empty

The creak is company

Keeps me from feeling


Unmatched Towels

May 29, 2013

My linen closet is a work of art

And compulsion

I fold and refold

Until corners match perfectly

Stack towels and washcloths,

Fitted and flat sheets

In neat columns

Ragged, Worn, familiar

Soft cotton and terry cloth

Thirty-three year old shower gifts

I remember when they matched

anything seemed possible

But my son doesn’t

Back on Track

May 28, 2013

I am derailed.

Like a train crash, I’m off the track.

Cinnamon and sugar have replaced apples and bananas.

I carry five extra pounds.

I sit any place I can, exercise my mind,

While my body is on hold.

The thing is, we live together

We share the same bench and track

Where one goes, the other follows.

This morning, I hope to jump back on the track.

Tie tennis shoes

Force my feet to move my body

Will myself to walk.

The bride and groom view themselves in a mirror

Husband and wife under a shawl

Henna is placed on palms and pinkies

Malida cake fed

Saffron rice served

Mint and yogurt

Naan baked fresh in a tandoor oven

The wedding guests smile and applaud

News travels fast

Across the ocean

A bride waits in the parlor

Her palms, white as the dress

Her veil obscures her vision

Three tiers of cake tower beside peanuts

Small figurines top the crest

The band warms up instruments

The bride, escorted by her father,

Makes her slow way up the aisle

In beaded pearls and satin

The groom lifts the veil

For a ceremonial kiss

The wedding guests smile and applaud

The Woman of Juarez

May 26, 2013

Brown calloused hands knead dough

Roll it into balls to be flattened

And fried

And served to strangers

They braid black hair

On girls going to school

They pat wet concrete with bare skin

Smooth what will become her floor

Meanwhile, the wash is ready to be soaped

Scrubbed on cement ridges

Rinsed with rain water

Hands pink with pressure

Wring and hang stiff jeans and navy dresses

After the evening meal,

The baby put down,

The upright bass is pulled from the church

The Preacher’s Wife strums the strings

A basin emerges with precious water

Like fragrant oil

She kneels and with rough fingers

Washes the white feet

Of college students

On a mission

Yellow Warbler

May 24, 2013

She’s back

That bright spot in my yard

Like some tropical wonder

Out of place in the land of pastels

Her yellow is uncanny

Her size miniature

I don’t need a bird book or binoculars

To identify her feathers

To name them as Beauty

Unknown Prayer

May 23, 2013

I pray for the motorcycle

The young man leans forward

Power in his palms

Legs exposed

Speeds like an Oklahoma tornado

Through gears in seconds

He thinks he is immortal

He passes cars like they are orange cones

He races through the obstacle course

He tilts horizontal

Beats his own time

He is someone’s son

Someone’s boyfriend

I cringe

I close my eyes to the highway ahead

Afraid of what I will come upon.

Jesus, Our Wet Nurse

May 21, 2013

Jesus, the Christ, the Christa, nurses us.

Milk, like liquid love, streams ino our mouths.

Rolls down our chins.

We burp.

We are drunk from pure ecstasy

as skin touches skin

Our Mother feeds us

without shame of being exposed

or concern

over a sagging breast.

The Nursing Jesus

May 21, 2013

I am fanatical about nursing.

I have trouble understanding the choice many young mothers make to use the bottle instead.

Nursing is free. The milk is always the right temperature. It contains the nutrients the baby needs.

It is intimate, skin touches skin.

Perhaps, this is the reason some women choose to use formula.

But they don’t know what they are missing.

Which is why I was intrigued when I came across Medieval art that illustrated the nursing Lord.

The Christ, our Jesus, with a stream of milk flowing from a breast into disciples’ mouths.

The saints knew what they needed.

Warmth in a steady stream, nutrients and sustenance.

Free. Intimate.

Always the right temperature.

West Coast Swing

May 19, 2013

I’m learning to West Coast Swing.

It is beyond fun–a smooth, sexy, sultry dance with partners moving back and forth in a ‘slot’ as if on a surf board together.

The leader can step off the board and let the follower do her thing, moving hips and kneading the floor with prances and turns.

The teacher spoke tonight about connection. And matched compression. And a good core.

All necessary for the partners to travel in and out in rubber band fashion.

One cannot dance–or love–with a limp partner. A certain tension must be present to make it work.