The Caregivers

March 29, 2017

Four women of color
Nurse my daddy for years
He confesses
Whatever vestiges of prejudice he has
Have vanished like a morning mist

Now, he is all love
A holy man
He kisses them goodbye
They aren’t sure if they will see him again


March 29, 2017

We watch
Night men and Angels
We witness
Children and wife
We lay our head upon his struggling chest
We check his pulse

We are mournful
Torn by tears
As we watch his breath grow shallow
That dreaded death rattle
His nails turn blue

O, but he is soaring
Flying over us like a satellite
“You can cut the love like cake”

We know what he means
This Holy Man
A warrior

Fight on, Daddy
Go triumphant to the Light

The Angels of Peachhell

March 24, 2017

I own a Baggie of Angels
Feminine names written in eyeliner
Stubby pencil like you’d find in church
Too dull to be dangerous
Their logic says
Or they just don’t care

I’m betting on the latter
For when she stood on the table with her arm leaking blood
They simply stared out the nurse’s window
It was the Angels who brought paper towels
It was the Angels who always cared

They gathered at my feet while I read from the Bible
Words of an apocalypse we already knew
The young admit sits on the floor
Her privates showing
She eats with her hands
She doesn’t know where she is

It is the Angels who defend her in a circle
They make me laugh
We light each others’ cigarettes
We form clusters to ward off rain
To shelter the weakest from the hot sun

We are sisters
Sharing rooms, clothes, stories of sorrow and solace
We outsmart them as they make the fifteen minute rounds

The Angels of Peachhell begin leaving
One by One the Doctors come to get them
They leave behind cigarettes, hoodies, a part of themselves

We are going to sue, we whisper excitedly
Get money to give away
A single crazy organism

The kiss reveals the person–
Are they generous, passionate, giving?
Do they think of others?
Are they fun?

I think of this maxim
When I go through the check out line
How our groceries give us away..

This man lives alone with his freezer full of prepared meals and pizza
She runs in the morning, her carrots and celery accompany her to work
He must watch every penny, lives in the past with his white bread and peanut butter
She strives to be a good mother, baking ham and serving up comfort food on platters for a husband who provides and at least six children
He is illegal
Worried his English will expose him
They are in love, laughing as they purchase the beer

And I–well, I–stock my cart with cottage cheese, cereal, protein bars
I make my lunch now-leftover salad, tuna fish
A boiled egg
An apple

I will not go out with someone again
Until we’ve had a first kiss.

She Could Easily Be Me

March 11, 2017

She sweeps now,
Clears the stairs of pine straw and leaves
Gathers pine cones to throw into the periphery
She’s building a home

Hauls a folding chair
A rain-washed clipboard
A hot pink stool to her treehouse

She arranges magazines
Pulled from a fat folder
She tucks her white hair behind her ear

Focused, she runs to gather more
Finds treasures in her yard
A hiking stick she props in the corner

She slips without falling
Agile and fearless she builds
Makes a home with a slide for an exit

She could easily be me

The Surveyor

March 9, 2017

First of all, he is handsome.
Just as important, he is a magician
Pulling numbers, arcs, degrees from the air
A daytime astronomer
He reads the grass through instruments
Constellations found there.

He charts
Looks through a lens
Sees the world in a graph

The slopes intrigue him
parallel lines
Topographic maps

A tripod
A Pencil
Placed together
In geographical formations
He navigates the Land

Meanwhile, I watch in fascination
As orange ribbons are tied
Stakes hammered down

He loads his equipment
Moves down the road
I watch his Levi’s leave

I want him to read me.

Clouds raze the air
sunlight reflects off of them as if they are celestial foil
My dad is dying
Meanwhile the squirrel leaps

My mother states to remind us
“My dad died at 80. You’ve had him 9 more years.”
But we want him forever

Like some aeronautical Methuselah
Designing time and space
We want force
Not gravity
We want acceleration and lift.

The little sparrow
Tinier than my fist swirls on the bird feeder as it turns like a Merry-Go-Round
And all I can think of is the Bird Book and list
Right next to the Bible
A Sunday morning of scrambled eggs and toast
“Stephen paints the jelly on”
He says.

We say “Die. Live. Do what you must do.
We will take care of Mama
We will take care of each other
Your five ‘scruffy’ kids.”

Go Gently

March 4, 2017

Do not rage
The Light doesn’t dim
Only grows brighter

My dear Daddy
Go gently into the comfort
Of the night

We are all alright.

I bought nails here
Shiny brass nuts and bolts
Walked the creaky floors
In wonder

Only the floors remain

Now, I order cheesecake
A glass of Chardonnay
I see my Uncle Charlie
At the counter
He buys chicken feed
Supplies for his bees

Only the floors remain

Love me
Love God
Love intimacy
Love nature
Love music
Love my children
Love learning
Love thinking
Love conversation
Love travel
Love the world

Oh yeah..and be financially stable..