Flight Risk

The security line is long—you look fragile
in your black coat, a little pale, resolute
to not cry though we find we might
miss each other after all

At home, you’ve left the usual disaster
so your room is only a bit less jumbled
than yesterday—the cat, clueless
sleeps in the center of your bed


Look to space—soundless,
starred fascination-deep. Silence
this clash of human cries. Let’s
sit snug and dream of drone-
delivered stuff, hash political hairs
and tell kids they don’t want
to work at McDonald’s. Let’s bash
bullying and say it’s okay
to cry over math every night

PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 6 prompt, “We’re being watched,” touching on technology. I went a little slant, perhaps.

Once, Upon a Cat

We are silly in love
like new parents, praising
lap-leap, chair-leap
keyboard walk of tiny paws
fishhook claws that pounce
unguarded ankles

What immortal hand or eye
framed infant tiger’s
curving spine to fit, perfect
in my one hand? Bright
companion of this dark hour
your heart-full purr fills forests

Lightly, for Day 4 of the PAD Chapbook Challenge; prompt “Once Upon a (Blank).”

Winter Hearth Ghazal

Dark—though all the world sleeps, long
I strain to hear blackbird song

Your wings winter-folded, soft-
swept snow, river-fog blurred song

Locked into memory, green-
forest days spinning word-song

By berry bramble, your wings
covered all desire, spurred song

Unsung, for better or worse
by this cold hearth, unstirred song

Now dawn-white shadow gathers
plaintive dream-note—unheard song

My first attempt at the ghazal form.

The Irish Basket-Maker

Rain all week, and we bent
to it, the storied views all blurred
green-blue, gray beyond the steady swipe
of windscreen wipers from Dublin
to Cork, Kerry to Clare, Galway to Spiddal
and from one more sweeping sea-drenched
cliff-drive we came to his shop–dry
earth-fragrant, stacks of tall willows
in surprising colors, nature-grown, stacks
of finished baskets, bowls. With sun-glint
smile he walked us through the shaping–
how these things are made deftly, steady
with patience.

PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 2; the prompt is “surrender.”