On The Table

The jam pot from Japan,
a banana dish made in 1899,
a basket of red-handled flatware and cloth napkins,
salt and pepper shakers shaped like little ducks,
checkered pottery tray with two small syrup dispensers–
one for honey, one for maple syrup–
and a green glass vase of daffodils.
You picked them for me yesterday
when you thought the cold would kill them.
You carried them in,
cradled in your rough bricklayer’s hands,
chose the pretty vase,
put them on the table,
and turned to watch
the pleasure light my eyes.

with thanks to Virginia DeBolt for the prompt

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Too Soon the Rose

Remember when you crushed the rose

between your fingers until the petals stained your hands

soft and red, delicious the scent

that filled the air between us. Bruised

petals drifted, spent

confetti of the celebration of us.


Wilted, rain-washed to dirty white,

too soon the rose

was trampled under the heavy tread

of everyday, and we never saw  the forgotten bits

wash down into the drains.

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We Rise

We rise

Like a phoenix from the ashes

we rise and we speak

with signs and marches and pink hats and microphones

many voices with one voice

we rise and we will be heard

from sea to shining sea


We speak for the young who fear for their lives

for the teachers whose brave hearts tremble

for the elderly who see their future dark with want

for the immigrants who cannot freely speak

for the black man who must always watch his back

for black mothers who grieve each murdered son

for women harassed and humiliated at work

for workers whose security is taken, piece by piece

for the poor, the handicapped,

for all who cannot or dare not speak for themselves


We will not back down

We are not afraid

Together we are strong

Together our voices rise as one, together we stand

So that this nation shall have

a new birth of freedom

and that government of the people,

by the people, for the people,

shall not perish from this earth

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A fire and a dog,

golden brandy in crystal,

evening’s small comforts.




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Days Like Champagne

Some days are like champagne

light and bubbly and fleeting;

others like the cheapest wine,

dark, bitter and and soon forgotten.

And then there are the days

like this one, aged with remembrance,

rolled around in our minds

over and over again to savor the richness

of layered goodness.

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Weather Delay



wind and snow

in the forecast

as Old Man Winter

keeps spring undercover;

only valiant daffodils,

snowdrops, crocus, shy spring beauties

bravely raise sweetly scented heads

to white flakes shaken from his hoary head.



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For two years the clock sat on my desk,

not working, not ticking, just there,

its red case shut, its hopeful hands hidden from my view,

a reminder of something I needed to take care, figure out,

Guilt can make us blind to what we do not want to see.



Yesterday I opened it and looked at the accusing face,

wound the key and waited.

Nothing. No steady tick, no sound at all and so

I turned it upside down.

Tick tick tick…

For 24 hours it has steadily carried on, doing what

a clock is supposed to do–keep track or passing time,

reminding with a shrill bell when asked.

Sometimes we need to look at a thing from a different perspective;

I wish right now I could turn this world upside down, give it a gentle shake,

and get our country back to doing what it is supposed to do–be the beacon,

be the hope, be the steady tick tick tick that moves us surely

forward to a better time.


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