Tamar wasn’t having it

Was the first and last thing
he said to me.
I answered.
And as I began to offer more,
he turned and got to work.
My schedule was out of order.
Stopping mid week to 
pick up groceries
was humbling.
Time is never regained
once lost.
Sunday I was distracted.
I missed items.
So, here I am;
at a new store,
a Wednesday interloper,
with a new person.
I guess, I am the
new person too.
Tamar stopped suddenly
and looked out over
an adjacent field.
The parking lot butted up against 
a promised expansion 
of some store 
currently in the plaza.
It was puddled and 
strewn with broken things; 
fencing, floes of Styrofoam,
patches of grass,
shattered adolescent
tree trunks.
In the distance,
a hypertensive highway 
teemed with commuters.
The dull crashing of crates 
snapped my attention back 
to task.
Tamar was already in motion,
returning to the depot.
At the warehouse door
he threw one more
glance over his shoulder 
at the chaotic field,
shook his head, 
and entered.


and even though 
there is more space
out there
than in here-
a bit more room
where you stand.
it would be easy
to assume
that there’s no motion.
and if it seems
like my swells
don’t happen on demand
or appear clear,
you should take a
minute away from
this conversation.
then you might
understand that
no matter
what my waves
sound like
to your ear,
my tides aren’t
the same.
and I ain’t the same

storage solutions for emotional baggage part 1

when crisis arrives
it's often in 
svelte boxes. 

well packed. 
air tight. 

each misdirection 
framed with
instruction, paired
with pictures, 

it makes the process
seem so

fasteners and spacers
are codified,
in sealed plastic 

against leaving children 
around sharp pieces
are printed on
the paper instructions
the storage bag. 

once built, 
there are also cautions
letting children
climb up,
or on,
the item.

unless it 
is a bed, 
then don't climb
the headboard
and definitely 
don't play under

there's safety
in redundancy.

outcome assured,
sore back

missing pieces?
there's a 1-800 for that.

need help building?
check the website, 
forward slash, 

lay out the pieces, as numbered.

a Robertson screwdriver.
or is it a Phillips?
the one with the cross,
not the square.

the flat head,
the simplest tool, 
is never needed.

that the tip 
will skip 
at least three times,
easily removing skin
from bone.

storage solutions
instead of 
problem solving. 

the fear of nothing

Something changed while I was not looking.

Not in my surroundings, it's the interior furnishings that have been moved.

I am sitting on the couch at 5:00 AM, Wednesday.

Stretches done. Meds taken. Cat fed. Wait, did I take my meds?

There is still one week of Christmas break remaining.

Coffee wobbles in my cup and slowly stills.

I stare at the poorly stirred turbulence; that is how I feel right now. Still. And separate.

CP24 let's me know that it will be unseasonably warm.

The surprise is missing from the newscaster's voice.

My today has started. The kid's day ended just 5 hours ago.

Their stomping up the stairs at midnight, briefly startled me awake.

This margin seems to be growing and in retrograde- me rising earlier, them setting later.

I open the back slider, smell the air, and wonder what I expected from this season.

Funny, if 'today' is measured by the rest of the world waking, 'today' is still, like, 3 hours away.

When did I become a pre-sunrise tv watcher and a weather fan-boy? Why?

A week ago I sloshed and bubbled as we hustled to wrap up school.

I was in a cohort of the deflated, claiming rights to a break, fist bumping for a Friday.

Last year, same time, I said something like 'I will need a whole holiday to get ready for this holiday.'

This year we teleported out of school a day early.

Announcements of inclimate weather interrupted the bells.

We pulled the chute and left without the usual Yule tidings to all.

People slipped and slid as they hustled in excitement across the parking lot.

Everything was electric, everyone was a raw wire whiplashing on wet road. And even as dangerous as the black-iced pavement was, the beacon of early dismissal made folks forget their fears of falling.

Now, just now, I struggled to find the name of the day.

Kinetic energy will eventually come from the coffee. Potential though, is all spent.

Midway through this break and my commute triangulates far too simply- bathroom, bed, couch, kitchen.

My associations hitch far too consistently- cat, son, daughter, spouse.

I write, drink coffee, cook for the family- all purposeful, all through a background noise.

An idea has taken nest in my head.

Shooing and handwaving has only made it loft higher and higher in the rafters.

It's squawk familiar and fresh at the same time.


Is it a question, promise, or threat?

I close the back slider, my cat takes this as a cue. He chirps and runs to his food bowl.

He has already eaten, but I give him a second breakfast anyways.

in the darkest hollow

this pain,

my chest,

down lined
woven into
this hollow-

is dark,

twigs and threads,
my bones
and marrow.

our blood,

a place,

safe and away

sharp teeth,

high up


to hold me
where few


from grief

I remember
a warmth
that once
slept beneath
my breast.


in this



no tests,

just me


out to
who have
our nest.

a song

so sweet

no choice
let my
heart break



the fact that someone notices

we are mostly memories
hoping to be recalled;

given purpose and consequence
in that instant instance
just before the page turns.

what was it we just talked about?
you know,
the gloom that brightens
and slumps at the same time.

the craving that our body of work,
our remains,
continues to vibrate and clang
in some useful measure-

in retrospect,

piece after piece,
a life re-sembles
some of the art
that frames it.

these are not materials
of matter.

not mortar or 2by4.
no rebar, no shingle.

they will not ever
sit level or
settle into a

memory is metaphor.
moments, echoes.

most is just
fleet foxes daring us
to follow around the tree,

tails flashing a beckoning
or a caution,
in the last minute,
that we have
left the path.

left our home.

we are chapters,
not categories or
title pages,

thumbed and dog eared
by another reader

and our story,
like the fox's print,

will disappear
under iridescent
snow before it
is ever