Monday, February 23, 2015

Seeing Clearly

And suddenly… she needed heavy glasses.
All the times signboards went unread or 
wildlife stayed invisible now makes sense :/.


Monday, February 09, 2015

Midday/Half a World Away

These names are written under my skin
Their faces are painted on every mirror.


Sunday, February 08, 2015


I've climbed a tree
and I'm talking down

to you.
The moon,

stony-faced, circles the empty basketball net,
is reflected in a crescent of watermelon.


Saturday, February 07, 2015


Their sister
is at retreat/
long camp

Then when
they took tests
to see if they too
were dependent

they found only
two options:
dependent OR
very dependent


Friday, February 06, 2015

On the Night it Comes

You're calm, sleeping
with the lights on
between both parents

growing ghosts
for the thrill of it

blankets in a clutch
with a firm hold
of yourself

in the old silence
in the odd silence

are layered
with prayers
in the shadows

just beyond
the frame
of side vision

darkness strays.
It reads you
and then stays

at the waist
from far away

and if it doesn't
come further,
or get too close

you could still love it


Thursday, February 05, 2015


these fingers twin
from shaping time
your hair sinuous
works its way alive

this gaze is like god's--
absolutely no concern
marking a jigsaw world
blowing a heady wind

the song rises
but the dance clings
fears and errors tell
warnings and knells


Wednesday, February 04, 2015


Rigged myself a standing desk.
(Then sat down at the computer to post about it.)


Tuesday, February 03, 2015


 The family portrait my mom so desired
turns out a bit Jindalesque?


Monday, February 02, 2015

Sunday, February 01, 2015


Is this a reasonable time to come home?
We've been waiting up for you.


Friday, January 30, 2015


(Not the snow in Michigan, sadly.)

Just my sentimental mama heart 
when I come across these two
holding hands and talking 
on the walk home. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Sense of an Ending

the sky is a staircase
the sounds of the day
going away

The dark is to
tear down stars
all of ours

squeeze their affluent
and vintage shine
wet as wine


Thursday, January 22, 2015

When making people happy

becomes almost as important 
as doing the right thing
(or doing the thing right).


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Malaysian Airlines?

At asks
when I send a picture of my empty row.
Laugh or cry?
Discuss amongst yourselves.


Monday, January 19, 2015


Perhaps the way in was also the way out…

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Third Coast

On the brine of memory
the ink of veins marks spots

It is a storm of forgetting;
at each sob, she jettisons

Parents as they were, embraces
in sorrow how they now are

sweeps it all into feeling
grabbing and flailing even so


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Monday, December 01, 2014

Stand Down

Reaching for amusement
but the door slams

meticulous and tight.
Spinning silently,

breath touches corners
and then as surely

is inhaled back in
brittle as silk


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Foreshortened day,
unwelcome touch,
and unkind light.

I read the warnings,
count out their syllables. 

Then snow webs 
untidy, un-mappable, 
planting everywhere.

Racing, erasing my flesh, 
being, becoming my body.


Monday, November 17, 2014


         a smile-dusted child

swarms grandly
up hope's slope
unfurls something

         bigger than the world

mouth stretched wide
so smiles endearments
all--are kinds of kisses


Sunday, November 16, 2014


Tired out from a play-date
(where they didn't play).


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ugh, Bill Cosby

In the wake of Trayvon Martin and Michael Browne, I found The Cosby Show on TVLND and it became a habit to watch/listen to reruns while I folded laundry or cleaned. It was somewhat escapist and a little bit inspiring to hark back to some golden age where a sitcom about a black family was the show of choice for most of middle America. Internally, I quietly disagreed with much of Clive Huxtable's parenting; separately, I vociferously disagreed with Bill Cosby's pronouncements about "Welfare Moms and Thugs," still it carried on.

Until all these reports of Bill Cosby's rape of multiple young (and teen) women.


Friday, November 14, 2014


Well, I don't know.
In small portions
this body would be fields

of stupid ideas repeated
a concussion of cowardice
in all the openings
of kind words unsaid.

But where are you?
It's time to feed ghosts at the
pressing behest of their buttons

And soon we'll be: 
ancient or innocent
epochal or whatever
and just not the same.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

In Silence

Speaking still
in triangles
the moon's half smile
last night gazes zen

past the brazen
stare of the phone
which kisses my fingers
promises to wake at four

And after that, the flare
of the soft scimitar
of your mouth
dim with sleep


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


All day
I heard every word that wasn't said.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Bruised and accumulating
the lichen of thought
and the plenty
of quarrels

quarrying then policing
altering but falling
(to none)

these are the tidal drags
the smash of boredom
the open fall
of over


Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014


At today's potluck, I couldn't say
why we didn't come last month.

I don't know what we were doing
but it was October, and I can guess.

Still don't know if we're near or far
…just trying to keep looking ahead.


Saturday, November 08, 2014

A New Day

It's early in the leaden morning: 
an unknown red truck 
in the driveway.


(It's At's friend… 
who spent the night 
and doesn't need a ride anymore.)


Friday, November 07, 2014

Never Alone

I'll need a weekend to myself
after A gets home next week.


Thursday, November 06, 2014


I think we're all preparing
And I think we're all underprepared


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


It was tense at work and dull outside,
but seeing these two get off the bus
was all smiles, songs, and blessings...


Sunday, November 02, 2014

First, coffee

...then 26.2 miles
(NYC Marathon 2014)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And on the Fifth Day...

A went to Chicago for a conference FOUR days ago.

It's a testament to the effed-up-ness of his work schedule that the kids finally got around to wondering where he was this morning.


It's a testament to how technology can keep us connected despite distance--they've been texting, emailing, and talking all along.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014


is a kaleidoscope calling out
--although it is hard to hear
I answer: Yes? Hello?
as though speaking into
an old-fashioned telephone

mimics birds bedding,
my arms punctured now
by pain, pine-tree needles.
In the end, the day leaves
unnoticed and uncomposed


Monday, October 27, 2014

Eerily, just this morning a colleague told me that he'd sent out a job application to the U of Wyoming at Laramie, and then we had the near-obligatory talk about Matthew Shepard.

An hour after, I find in this weekend's edition of The Guardian--a truther-style story about details that might have been suppressed in the race to anoint Shepard as a poster-boy for anti-hate legislation.

We seem to prefer heroes on a template, but details are not the enemy.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nostalgia and Kindness

It's true that every time I hear this song, it brings a lump to my throat.

Nu says, "That's like you, Mama. You left your mom and Dad too."

At silently thumps me on my shoulder. (Somewhat smirkily, the way he seems to do everything these days, but still kindly.)

Broods: Mother and Father


Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Quiet Thanksgiving

Right now
the afternoon brightens
the dogs sleep
beside me

the last of the corn
and the best acorn squash
from the garden are
roasting from light to gold

The kids sleep one room away
done with every weekend activity
A stumbled home from a night shift
and also sleeps

I? I have something completely
unrelated to work to read
while the week's laundry
churns itself clean and dry

Sounds so ordinary
but this hasn't happened
in years. It is a returning
peace, to be thankful.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Backstory...

So Nu has a 'sister' at school.

"Angel and I do every thing together. We're really, really sisters."

I get it. Sometimes having a loving big brother is not really your thing, and you need someone  more like the giggly tweens populating the shows your parents decided to ration.

"We're really, really, REALLY sisters."

I guess?

"You see--before dad met you, he and Angel's mom had Angel."

It takes a while to convince her that I'm really uncomfortable with this scenario...

"That's ok, I don't think Angel would mind if we switch it up and make it about you and her dad."


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Less is more?

At loses nine (nine!!) teeth at one go.
(Because his orthodontist says so.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yes! Mazel!

(I'm secretly rather proud 
of the place cards I made.)

Friday, May 02, 2014

Happy Birthday Atty!

 Wishing this sweet, sweet love of mine happiness, health, and smiles always…
(And the strength to best anything life may throw at him.)

Friday, April 25, 2014


(Everything I need... to do.
This weekend, I had better start
preparing the soil and compost
then re-shelve ALL the books.)


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Then there's this...

It was so much more colorful this morning
For all that our branches are still so bare.

Got the kids to run to the window to look with me 
The first sunrise since I took to bed on Monday

Thursday, April 17, 2014


(For J.K.)

Morning light
your message asks
if I'm alright--when you
dreamt of me last night
it sounds like maybe
I was not alright

Morning breaks too,
birds are the traffic
wardens of our sky--
like them, I become
many many things.
All small magic--

Like a funnel it's still
and still the same thing
on the other side. One
must keep on, there's
little choice on a slide.
I just thank you, believing...

me as I argue what I didn't
know I knew. That's huge.
See: If I said now, even
innocuously, "raincoats on."
Someone (age 6) might scoff
"How would *you* know?"


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

(Grandson) Rise!

My dad mimicking At's hair :)
Defiant hair runs in the family…

(I'd be ok if 
At didn't inherit 
the ear hair though.)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bouncy Ball Soup...

Happy Passover!
(These three were such good guests!)


Monday, April 14, 2014

This is a morning

Painted with the colors of my childhood
a door swings, calls my childhood name
the stairs lift me as did mother and father
the breeze, their blessing calling me home


Friday, April 11, 2014

An Explanation

Hours rhyme 
on either side

you miss 
all this
when you die

comb calendars
take back

some days

some babies 
are called 

answers turn
and run 
into mouths

you squeeze
the neck
of a bottle


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Dimple in Time

In the middle of August 
four years ago, I uploaded 
this picture of Nu to FB.

It was whimsically captioned:
 "One day, the child made a wish--
and then summer started."

My sister's school friend
(newly friended) found it 
today, liked it. Others did too.

I looked through that 
entire album at work
and missed my babies.

She was just two then 
she's headed for Grade 2
this August. Soon.

So small and squishy, right? 
But I remember thinking then
that she'd become a big kid.

Ok, yes.
Time is fleeting,
but it's also so ridiculous.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Of Never

try to make
the day stay--

to find
days that are
round and ripe

grow cities
and conversation

in slow, secret
snail-like orbit

the year's
great love,
time's anchor.


Sunday, April 06, 2014


little snow callus
to amputate
ghost weather
I'm not afraid
calla lilies
may evaporate
But my kingdom
is coming

Saturday, April 05, 2014


Is she wondering about 
the snow? Just last week 
it was piled high like  
"The Wall" in GoT.

Strange how in spite of 
all the naughty potties 
she still makes me laugh
and melt some more.


Friday, April 04, 2014

On Coolness

I gave her a bad haircut.
and felt terrible.
She didn't care!

She wore a velvet hat 
and added 
a leather jacket.

Me: How are you so cool?
She: Don't know. 
I guess I just am.

But not every one in the family 
is cool (exactly) like that
Exhibit Big A:
Who it seems--
might let me get away
with just about anything :).


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Working/Not Working

Kids are on spring break
and the furthest 
they've traveled this week
is to work with me.

Guess which kid 
picked out their own meal
at the cafeteria?


Wednesday, April 02, 2014


You place the fight in my eye,
throw me a cape of illustration
the ideas ride along underneath,
in the hiccup of my photograph.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Look me in the eye!

This picture cracks me up.

(Scout & Grandpa R)

Monday, March 31, 2014

These Days

I translate everything:
extra hour of daylight,
half hour before kids,
come home--
I make up courtesies.

Every place is all
papers and books
(and prayers)
And I'm always telling
my date again.

No. Nothing personal
unless it's already on
an official form
a continent away.

What a terrible idea
to tell them everything
to give them my books
to give away thoughts
that initiate my breath

Read on, hoping for
another line that
invents the kind
of caress that
can make you forget.


Thursday, March 27, 2014


We drew a lot of circles in class today because of Martha Nussbaum and the Stoics.

But it reminded me of another Greek:
(Vachel Lindsay)
Old Euclid drew a circle
On a sand-beach long ago.
He bounded and enclosed it
With angles thus and so.
His set of solemn greybeards
Nodded and argued much
Of arc and circumference,
Diameter and such.
A silent child stood by them
From morning until noon
Because they drew such charming
Round pictures of the moon. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Serious Accusation

These days--and nights--with the kids cute, funny, kinda little, and sleeping under the same roof feel so blessed.

Letting each day go is a struggle, I know I'll look back on now as some of the sweetest times of parenthood some day.

That said, the kids aren't really *that* little.

Just yesterday, the first-grader accused me of treating her "like a kindergartner" :).


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Those Who

There are those who
just can't hold still for a pic
in the henna/bleach Tardis gear  
(made by an awesome student).

They are the same ones who 
suddenly transform into
a giggly, floppy, silly pile
of puppies in ten seconds.


Monday, March 24, 2014


1) That mid-morning call from the school--heart-racing panic before I understand that there is some meeting about traffic safety scheduled for Wednesday.

2) The official admission that MH 370 is really lost--do I grieve or conjure alternative endings?

3) Way before we've celebrated the beautiful way the judge struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in Michigan and the lovely way county clerks stayed open on the weekend to enable couples to marry, the expected appeal by the officially installed trolls against marriage equality. The counter-appeal from Equality Michigan is here.

4)  Reading the Good Wife spoiler before I could skip it--reading speed isn't helpful except in elementary school.

Trying not to dwell on these and continue working…


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Disease Detectives

In the end, At didn't win at the Rube Goldberg machine he'd worked on for weeks and weeks and weeks…

Turns out he's a good "Disease Detective." Perhaps we'll make a doctor out of him yet?

(In the background I can hear the theme song from Nu's show *!!!Detectives!!!* jazz hands and all.)


Saturday, March 22, 2014


Addicted to rebellion
does it makes it alright?
Warping what you say-
you feel, the way we go.
We'll be okay, O.K?
Go on forever like a
bad spelling of

Throw a million arms
in insults crafted like
poems; throw smiling
selfies, "alrights" right
back into the wind;
scoffing like the glint
on a knife, blood falling
through our words.

Thinking through this
tsunami of absolutely nothing.
Then suddenly feel far away,
falling, speeding through space
trying to leave all of this--
the limp flags of you and me
war, anger, surrender, earth,
being awake, everything--


Friday, March 21, 2014

With What is Left of the Moon Tonight

I bronze those years as wild
but did we disappear
into shyness
mildly trembling
from undiagnosed gaze
thoughts that ate us whole?

Gone unappeased for weeks
the sun, the day and night
falling upon us
as the road squints
and is growing from tiny,
drowning, reinventing in bed.

You've come with me, silently
your words flickering
an axis buried
so deep underground
not even breath breaks or stirs.

But you can locate me as if--
as if by a sensuous sonar
just your mouth
closing in with
rush, ache, amusement
wordlessly speaking of touch.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Her eyes pool with regret
agrees she really shouldn't
have taken so long for breakfast

now it's late
now I can't walk her
into her elementary school building

now she'll have to ring the bell herself
wait for the double doors to open
line up at the office for a "late card"

and walk the almost emptied
hallways to class.
By herself.

Her mouth is a cartoon of sadness
her hands (still dimpled) tug

I say "no."
I hold out.
I'm very stern.

O.K. Out you get.
O.K. I'll watch till you get in.
O.K. But I'll only come to the door, O.K.?

There--she's ahead of me
smiling small and secret
her eyes at half mast and triumphant.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Their eyes tell me about my future
how they grow up soft
in my heart

Their hands travel like my past
muddied innocent
grown lean

Their touch keeps books of memories
to listen, turn, learn
and cry out


Sunday, March 16, 2014

O Lorde, it was amazing!

Is it odd to have so much admiration 
for someone years (decades even) 
younger than one?

I wish I had been as nonconformist,

outspoken, confident, and powerful
 at seventeen, any time in my teens,

I wish I had taken the kids too…


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eat your Bath!

I made Bisibele bhath for dinner.
And Nu thought it was hilarious
saying stuff like:
"This bath is delicious!"
"I've eaten all my bath!"
You get it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A snuggle before work

Big A dropped the older kids off at school
but there was still some snugglin' goin' on…