Aiming to meet this
Hard world with steadfast kindness,
Sometimes she managed.



For Poetry Asides April PAD Challenge (prompt: self-portrait poem)

Suspend your skepticism, she whispered,
and you’ll find your greatest power comes
From the blurring, the unknowing, and then
The swing-and-a-miss of the first words
Scrawled across the white expanse of page.
They can’t all be diamonds. Not every waterfall
Breeds rainbows. But even the most petulant
Of muses will come calling every now and then.
When the barrier between the writer and
The written thins – that’s when you know that
You are really getting close.




For The Sunday Whirl (prompt words: suspend, power, swing, diamond, waterfal, barrier – only managed six of the words this time – ah, well.)

Mama’s seeing with
her other eyes again,
the girl sang as she spun

once, twice, three times
then caught my near
hand in hers, laughing.

At the question in
My eyes, she shook
An imperious finger –

Mama’s looking at that
Other place where
All the words are born.

When they’re new
They’re awfully shy
So we must not disturb her.




For Quickly’s Alt 5 (prompt: write without using and, of, with or -ed)

I’ll release you
Into someone’s waiting arms but
Can’t stop swaying


I know 3:00
Better now than I ever
Would have dreamed


You ferret out
Every small object we’ve mislaid
And mouth it


Who’d have thought
I’d come to miss your
Newborn wail: uh-LAH!


I know when
You’ve smiled just by watching
Your father’s eyes


No bad mood
Proves hardy enough to withstand
kissing those cheeks


Now I realize
My birthday really belongs to
My mom instead


First shock subsiding
You suck the lime greedily
Then grab another


You’ve changed me:
I’m more easily wounded by
This broken world


The first time
You played alone I thought
Well, now what?


For Napowrimo Day 4 (prompt: write a lune) and the Poetic Asides April PAD Challenge (prompt: Since ____)

A Visitation

The day you learned that ghosts were real
You saw the specter of yourself at fifteen
Shrouding a girl you didn’t recognize
But who wore the same drab jacket paired with
The same slightly out of fashion hair bow that
You felt so pretty wearing that year.

Your shoulders tightened with hers
In an unintentional act of self-protection,
Contradicting the overeager smile of yours
That lingered forgotten on her lips as she nattered
With calculated breeziness with friends just a bit
Too cool for her to risk relaxing into herself.

Lest the apparition should witness your
Decades-buried flush reborn, you fled.




For dVerse (prompt: convey an emotion without naming it) and We Write Poems (prompt: history)

Toppled from his throne by a vile, hairless new animal,
He pings around the edges of the reconstituted nucleus.
But each time he sidles near, seeking an available lap,
He finds himself rebuffed – there is no vacancy.
Growing gaunt with hunger for affection, he waits
For the interloper’s stranglehold on his family’s attention
To begin to decay: someday, he is sure,
They will love him again.


For Three Word Wednesday (prompt words: gaunt, decompose, vile) and dVerse (prompt: animal poem).

On Mothering

Oh grief, don’t touch my child just yet.
Don’t teach him so soon that
Each beginning hides an ending.

Today I held a cup of water to his lips
And smiled with him as he sipped.
Yesterday he only sputtered.

He hasn’t noticed yet that joy
Is almost always seasoned with
A sprig or two of sadness.

So heartache, do me this kindness –
I will stand a while as surrogate.
Let me dance with you in his stead,

Mourning for him all the little deaths
That bob wistfully in the wake of
Every glad discovery.




For Napowrimo Day 1, marking my return to writing after too long away. Prompt: Writers Asides PAD Challenge: write a beginning poem, or an ending poem.


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