Winter Soccer

February 25th, 2019

Dreaming of being a snowman
A soccer ball draws a line
Where it rolls

2019

Backing Out

February 25th, 2019

Miniature mountain range of snow
parallel to ledge of carport roof
the morning’s speed bump

2019

Outdoor Court

February 24th, 2019

after a snow
no out of bounds
in basketball

2019

Swish

February 24th, 2019

last night’s snow flakes
made basket after basket

2019

Middle School Pressure

February 13th, 2019

Girl barometers
Passing glances like cruel notes
Predict the snow storm

2019

Shedding

February 9th, 2019

The antique Iraqi rug likely never knew a family dog
before ours. When I vacuum it after he leaves
for a weekend with my son, it is usually with a sense
of a few days’ relief from hair everywhere. On Sundays
when he returns, I don’t care that God’s woven trails
of geometric red and indigo turn dusty mauve
and grey with down. That is the way with dog hair.
You bear it. But today, when my son packed bags
to live with his dad two hours away and took
with him only a few of the things I gave to give him
small reasons to raise his head, I almost understood.
A mother’s love isn’t all. Her wisdom is at best, for now,
a suffered fluff. Teenage boys want only a bit of it
and something more: the clutter and berth of freedom
fathers sagely give to man-sized sons. I vacuumed
the rug what felt a final time. I did it sobbing,
drooling, with a knotted grudge. A hunch. My son
will forge his own mind. The dog will not get walked
enough; we both will fatten up. If I had had the time
and foresight to spin, I’d have saved and combed
and spun the past year’s every tuft of liver-spotted fur
to knot a musky blanket of the love that dog
has learned nuzzling my son. I’d sleep under it.

2019

Three Mosquitos

February 5th, 2019

Selfish Confession:
One Benefit of Global Warming

Last winter, no snow.
No perilous mountain roads
meant no mosquitos.

Souvenir of the Town Mascot

Carved key chain dangles
on my rearview mirror: a
Crestone mosquito.

Scrying July in January Puddles

Vast snow melt mirrors
cloudless skies, piñon and me
dreading mosquitos.

2019

To Measure Him

January 30th, 2019

Dozens of number-covered papers
Claim to represent what is vital about my son.
His blood. Knowledge. College readiness. Genes.
Brain chemicals disguised as ambition, anxiety, love.
I study them like runes, riddles, scientific scripture.
What numbers are light blue like his hurt eyes?
Gravelly with laughter over mastered digital dances?
Flushed like his kind face over fragrant cast iron pans?
Steaming with pure hockey joy? Long road silent?
Early to sleep on the family couch, cradled in yarn,
Wrapped in the magic arms of a mandala afghan?
Numbers strike as monolingual, unholy arrogance:
This summing up, ridiculous reduction of gentleness,
Unbearable empathy, early existentialism.
It makes more sense to measure him by this:
How many moon eclipses he has witnessed
Just beyond a gasp-shared meteor. One.

2019

When he is not home

January 30th, 2019

When he is not home
to warm the bed with me
I pull the duvet overhead
and breathe and breathe
then lift the cover just a bit
to suck warmth to my feet–
still cold when I fall asleep.

December 2018

4 AM Finances

January 10th, 2019

Turning and turning
on the dark morning spit

vigilant sleepless
I sizzle and drip

for a thousand licking
mouths of the widening pit.

2019

Sage’s Puja

January 2nd, 2019

Having wandered the Lakshmi gift shop
With my daughter Sage, we end
Our ashram tour in the circular temple.
I stop at guru photos and bow, drop a dollar
In a plate, not personally knowing
The special gift or allure of these holy men,
Only their serious, black eyed gaze.
Sage, a newly hired Tacoma firefighter,
Pauses before photos and paintings, too,
Asks, Who is this? The Divine Mother.
And this? Babaji. And here’s Shiva, I say,
Knowing she knows only his Nataraja form,
Brass dancer engulfed by a ring of fire
Who roamed the bookshelves
And windowsills of her childhood home.
Having walked the solemn perimeter,
This woman who nearly burned down
Her bedroom twice before fully grown
Comes to the fire extinguisher
Near the door, taking its modern place
On a wall of ancient gods and saints.
In slow reverence, she lifts her hand
To touch the words Cold Fire.
Sighing, ignited, she throws a glance
At her firefighter fiancé,
Her smiling mouth beatific, aflame.

2019

The Closest Ones the Brightest

December 26th, 2018

On a day of domestic nouns, undecorated,
This Christmas refuses to go retrograde
Or snooze through the moment by resurrecting
High-buzzing toy trains or the forsythia bush
I planted when my sister died. My nostrils
Did not flare in sorrow over chemo anecdotes.
Sunlight yellowed only the mountain range.
Wrapped in a blanket, feet propped on the porch,
I slipped into a micro nap and woke to coyotes
Broadcasting the new minutes of evening.
Juncos flitted behind me in the pines.
Later, walking piñon trails of moon-lost night,
Strange flashlight throwing sight forward
And back at once to warn our single-filed feet
Of stones, I thought of red clay, the joyful skill
I find my fingers still possess, of gently pinching,
Smoothing shoulders, clavicles, muscled necks,
Of fashioning tiny human forms for company,
Of Nü Wa, Chinese goddess, who carefully molded
The noble from yellow earth and, tiring,
Gave up to make the poor by dipping a rope
In mud and flicking it about, dropping dollops
Of common folk, elbows bent to serve.
Thank gods the thick Milky Way sparkled me
Out of my head and cold thighs itched me
Out of Marxist bitterness because my dog was
Out of town, not stitching me with dog bliss
To the night, the sandy mountain trail all his.
Only my man was by my side, quiet, digesting
Chili and cinnamon rolls, both of us making
Walking sounds, his boots clicking, my jacket
Swishing, both of us squinting at headlights
Crawling up Road T, heading our way, gaining
Elevation, the closest ones the brightest.

2018

Laceleaf

December 26th, 2018

Anthurium leaves are poisonous. They contain calcium oxalate crystals that cause severe burning in the mouth. Guide to Houseplants

Five shredded leaf tips
Glossy red bloom ragged too.
Still the cat returns.

2018

Atlas

December 25th, 2018

miles by miles grey cloud
blanket balanced just atop
Challenger’s flat peak

Dec. 25th, 2018

Outside My Classroom Window

December 13th, 2018

Wind-whipped black trash bags—
Dumpster flags flap above sill.
No, two ravens shine.

2018