The Washington Park Rose Garden in November Two leather-gloved armies with loppers swarm over the rose test garden, our heavy boots squish row by row to bring ten thousand bushes to their knees, wind-pruning for winter. Parks’ staff talk of retirements, back injuries and union politics. Volunteers share where-do-you-live, what-do-you-know-about-roses and try for ouchless in […]Read more "The Washington Park Rose Garden in November"
Saloons and Spurs You can’t imagine the dead lined up on wood rail chairs under the overhang of the saloon roof, leaning back on the leftmost porch wall with their boots tilted up. You might recall a scene from old westerns, wagon ruts in the muck, snorts of hung-head horses tied saddled to dirty rails. […]Read more "Saloons and Spurs"
Left with the Care of the Farm The banty rooster’s strident call is light years from grinding war, spinning news, suspicions of sects and warring politicians. His raucous bluster reminds me of a push-button toy gargling squawks only a child enjoys. A hawk whistles across the pasture. The rooster heard it, a wild away. He […]Read more "Left with the Care of the Farm"
Solar Eclipse Glasses My doorbell rings. A delivery man vanishes. He left a bubble-pack of three shades. Red, green, and black: blood, wealth, and darkness. Do not use in daily life when driving or walking. Made in China. Supervise children at all times. Who was it who sees through a glass dimly? Or the actual […]Read more "Solar Eclipse Glasses"
They quarreled in a car with full-blast air conditioning. About money – how to or how not to spend it and back-history long enough they each knew the other’s extravagances, commitments (or lack of them) to security. At a green light, a vagrant in layers of clothes, (more than necessary for a hot August evening), […]Read more "Frozen Silence"
I want to see a star from a high place, not necessarily a mountain. Maybe a tree limb. To sit quietly, no kicking my leg or swaying my body like I have a baby in my arms. That baby is grown up and learning to fly fish thousands of miles away on a lake where […]Read more "My Impatience is like a fish"
Oh, if I wanted one perfect roundness to fit my hand as sweetly as an egg, it’s you, avocado. Lob your dark green skin north for salsa and fresh-squeezed limes. Soothe my tongue ravaged by sharp-toothed words, conform to my teeth, invite my tongue to roll in bland oil of green. Teach me timing. You […]Read more "Ode to the Avocado"
A spring morning much like others, some daffodils rain-beaten, some perked. Daphne’s lemony fragrance when near enough. The outdoor little library bookcase at the neighbor’s frames the same mythologies, travel guides, and who-dun-its that got us through winter’s downpours. At the abandoned school, morning changes. A man rakes the baseball diamond, listening on earphones that […]Read more "Kindling"
An Uncommon Prayer for the Farm after Brian Doyle This morning three cracked and cleaned-out ducks eggs rested in mud. The ducks ignore the coop they share with broody hens. A raccoon slinked through the night, egg eater who slipped under the guard dog’s radar. First petition: safety. Yellow jackets nest in the propane tank […]Read more "An Uncommon Prayer for the Farm"
You did not eat dirt today. Perhaps tomorrow. Victory is one thin nacre coat on one grain of effort. Remember the mare’s beauty. She sweat more than you did. Look ahead to kittens and dogs and the feasts of wild crows. These too know dirt that you will eat. All living taste dusty race tracks […]Read more "Poem to Myself After Winning the Horse Race at Age Eleven"