Saturday, April 25, 2020

Pandemic in Brooklyn: for Quinton

My son who lives in Brooklyn
tells me that each night at 7:00
he and his neighbors open their windows
to clap and hoot and bang on pots and pans
to celebrate the day's first responders,
gifting them with an alchemy of homemade
noises given to spin exhaustion and sorrow
into something gleaming and gold.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Call

Sometimes when I first wake up,
Tangled in my drift of sheets,
I tell myself to go back to sleep.
What difference will a few minutes make?
But then I hear the morning call
And when I go outside I find
The apricot tree has blossomed
And the thick scent brings me into the 
Moment of a new day’s birth.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

A Prayer for the Super Moon

Search out each small thing
as you rise above it all tonight--
the sleeping bees
the lilac buds
the cat in a basket on our porch
the pigeons tucked beneath the eaves
My husband and I lying anxious on our bed--
Find us all and flood us with your
beautiful, beautiful light.

Monday, April 6, 2020


Where will I find a poem today
I ask as morning tumbles through the window.
Will it be seen in the long leonine shape
of my cat draped over a chair?
Is it hidden beneath the mound of wild violets
blooming beneath the crabapple tree?
Or heard in the noise of so many birds
weaving through its branches?
Or felt in the softness of my big dog's
coat as she leans against my knees?
Or sheltered in another person's words
that inspire and fire my own?
It's always a mystery to be sure.
But a poem a day is somewhere there,
waiting for me to notice it.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Nature in a Season of Pandemic

And the hyacinth still blooms
And the hawthorne still fruits
And the wind still whistles
And the mountain still stands
And the sky yawns and stretches
Over it all.

At times like this Nature can
Seem supremely, cruelly indifferent
To us mere mortals sheltering in place.
But I find both calm and comfort
In her unpredictable predictability.
She endures--and suggests we do the same.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Stuff I Have Learned About Myself During the Pandemic, Part One

Yesterday I chatted (while social distancing) with a neighbor whose name I don't know, although I do know his dog is named Hudson. Anyway, this neighbor said, "I'm an introvert and a misanthrope, but it turns out I miss seeing people."

And I was all dude. Truth. Turns out I miss seeing people, too. Turns out I am a lot more social than I ever thought I was.

I tried to turn this surprising insight into a poem, but I've been too busy painting bathroom doors instead today, so I guess this will have to do.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Here's What I Won't Take for Granted

Sitting beneath a moon-high summer sky,
Watching a baseball game,
Smelling the warm evening air,
Listening to the crack of a bat
And the chatter of spectators
While making my way though
A bag of peanuts, roasted and salted,
Sharing them with Ken and Rick
As they argue about all the things
You're not supposed to discuss in polite company.
From now on I will not take their
Impolite conversations for granted.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Challenge: A Poem a Day for National Poetry Month

A Poem Against the Pandemic

Will you write a poem a day?
I asked my friend the poet.
She shook her head.
What's a poem in a world like this?
I answered her with my heart.
A poem is bight hope captured
for the moment with both hands.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My Mother the Rodeo Queen and April Fools' Day

This morning a friend sent out an announcement that Governor Herbert has decreed all grades will be repeated next year. A few friends on the thread reacted in alarm but hell. I knew RIGHT AWAY that it was an April Fools' joke. Why? Because I grew up being terrorized by our mother on the first day of April. That's right. TRQ was an April Fools' Day Terrorist who switched out the sugar bowl and salt shaker, in addition to dying all our food green and putting Kibbles n' Bits in our shoes before we went to school. Dude. There were landmines everywhere in our house on April lst. I still have April Fools' PTSD.

I did get her back once, though. I called her and told her I'd just heard on the radio that a couple of Dad's players had been picked up for shoplifting. Hearing her very audible gasp was rewarding.

That's how you do it, folks. Get 'em where they're vulnerable.

I learned everything I know from a pro!