These small tasks that maybe need

doing like basting the meat, taking

one set of sheets up and one down.

I hung the small paintings in their small

corner to remember Tuscany by as if

leaving them on the dresser could

cause me to forget


gray days are in plenty this time

of year. It goes with the drip of rain

through dwindling leaves, this draining

of my heart-well: clean, scour, overhaul

and wait for something better. It’s okay

to sit here knitting, okay to hanker

for silence and slumber. It is not winter—

the streams still run, sluggish, under

leaf-mould, damped-down—but soon

the frost, the bite, that memory of being

alive to the ambitions of spring. Please God,

remind me to pray for the green

in us all, a reason to cry

and to care.


Fifteen Years

A frost-sparked garden path. Tragedy waits

around the corner, casual in sneakers and parka,

no ominous music or long shots of empty,

darkened streets. The sun shines; children laugh;

on the next block a house goes up with clap

and clatter, a future rising board by board.


Half your eternity away, snow threatens.

You’re thinking of Christmas, your unborn son.

This heart-dullness is an echo, a suspension,

a waiting. All falls and crashes sound fleece-thick

muffled but your daughter snuggles to your side

where you’re gazing out the window and asks you

what is wrong.


You seek flowers

Here, see: cupped in my hands

the last of them—spice-scented,

thousand-petaled, gold—

believe me


Friend, the world has gone

dust-dry, apostate

but I have a spring,

winter-heart hidden


These are the bloom

of all our life’s fruit,

watered, deep-rooted:

have them


Laws of Nature

It is irresistible, this impulse to seek

the flaw in the diamond. I must discover

and tell anew that the first day of summer

is but first of long fall to darkling end.

It is the (s)matter of gray caught in corner-

eyed mirror, debate whether to get up

of a sunny morn (for the heat seeds

its own raincloud), sudden insight that I was

this child only summers ago and now

this child (long ago relinquished to earth’s

spinnings and cunning traps) is the sought-

for fruiting. How we give way to the bud

when we thought only to blossom.

We shrivel, all energy spent in the making.