Sunday, December 16, 2018


I can hear the dog on the other side of the screen
but I can't see her
This is freedom.
I'm cooking, there is no dog on the small rug
I don't have to look at that staring dog face
asking relentlessly for food
This is freedom
I don't see the TV, or the man lounging about,
A white screen blocks it all, and I enjoy
the view into the open dishwasher,
it waits patiently for me to finish
my cooking and cleaning without
a sigh, a look or a complaint.
How wonderful.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Artifact of the Actual Real Toast: Truth, Conjecture and Imaginative Recollection

Toast Artifact: Truth, Conjecture and Imaginative Recollection

“Me do it.” Her first words.

She let me know what she wanted, whether perched on her derriere when she was four months old, or trailing me around the house begging to learn violin in elementary school, or maybe even, as an adult, informing me that I should not wear T-shirts anymore in public (“you’re really too old for that”).
For my part, my precious, albeit, chubby, Karen is not going to grace the office of that pediatrician, the one who dared suggest that Karen go on a diet at age two.. Yes, she had rolls of fat on her knees and food trapped under her chin could spoil, she was my baby and there would be no diet. All of you can see baby fat does not mean obesity in adulthood. 

Karen rode shotgun in my belly at Harvard, in the same building she was to write her own Ph.D. thesis 28 years later. We are connected through our shared experience of attending one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Life is hard and I had my share of phone calls where I could tell with her first breath, her first word, how she was doing. Mothers know these things. The easy calls were those when she was crying about not doing well in class because “everyone else” understood everything (guys, my response, “no, they don’t. Trust me” The hard ones, love and loss.  I advised that chamomile tea and a hot shower were the first antidotes and to call me back in 15 minutes. In between sobs, she would reward me by laughing at my terrible jokes. 
We started our three day tramp in torrential rain in New Zealand.  Karen clobbered me in scrabble, we drank wine and talked.  It stopped raining eventually. Since we already had the “lesbian” talk on Pearl Street (thanks, Daniel), our conversation eventually wandered onto the topic of male partners. She didn’t seem to like any, or want to go out with any; I asked her the natural question of whether she ever wanted to get married or have a family. I recall her being rather indignant. …     But, sometime later, I started hearing about this guy named Chris.
I was desperate for her to find the right man for her, to have a happy life together.  Who could be good enough for her, smart enough, gentle, supportive, handsome, tall, and creative?  Did such a man exist?  If she met such a man, would she choose him?  Could it be this Chris fellow?  Maybe no more tearful phone calls when I was in the middle of a blind Nordic skier convention? 
Yep, Chris is the one.  In the end, this headstrong, smart as a whip, take-no-prisoners daughter of mine did fall in love with such a man, an equal partner, who would love her for all she is, and for her to love for all he is.
“Me do it” will, of course, continue to be a part of her life as an independent woman. Happily, she does not have to rely solely on herself.  “We do it” is now part of their life together.

Karen and Chris, Marriage can be one of the most enriching human experiences, if both commit to the loving journey of learning about each other – and along the way learning about yourselves.  I wish you as a couple great happiness and fulfilment in your life together.  I have great faith in your ability to build a wonderful life together and treasure the times when I can share it with you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How did we get so old?

we sleep in separate beds
sometimes wearing earplugs 
it's always the other who snores
reading glasses are no longer optional.
he sleeps in boxers, I sleep in flannel pajamas
he has his pillows and I have mine
one for my arms and a bigger one between my knees
he started it all.
how did we get so old, what happened to his
beautiful red hair - his paunch can no longer be ignored
I would be grey if nature took her course 
there's a dimple in my belly fat.
there is nothing beautiful about it but what else
but to endure, to smile and hope for the best.

Monday, December 10, 2018

a place of one's own

a corner where your things are not disturbed
a rumpled bed, the shape of your body, only yours.
snapshots of your children scattered about
because you love them and they are a part of you,
you carried them, wiped their noses, they will
always be a part of you.
this place that is yours has small chairs
and a childhood blanket on the floor to keep
your feet warm as you work.
I need a place like this, no husband, no dog,
just me and my thoughts,
the impression of me in my bed.

Monday, December 3, 2018

My brother and me

Don't we look fine 
black tie, cocktail dress, we look fine
don't we look fine
slender and fit, teeth intact
standing tall
we look fine, my brother and me
sixties look fine on us
we're not tottering yet
yet retirement is on our minds
you'd never know from this picture
how tired we actually are.

Thursday, November 29, 2018


Hovering, then darting left, right, up down
Buzzing, high  pitched, loud 
how could a drone ever sneak up and look in 
the window without you noticing?
One who could sleep through loud snoring
would jump up to look.
down on the ground, a technician expertly
controls the drone in the sky, her soft brown curls
slightly moving with the wind, 
the sun at her back. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Insight Blasts Off

Miraculously, it landed unharmed
after many months, many miles, surviving
a descent through a fiery ball.
Our little robot will drill and drill,
sensing heat and Martian vibrations,
if only we could have sent Corey and Donald
along for the ride, their tears staining their faces
as Washington, D.C. receded into the distance,
aware that they would be the last to 
seek scientific truth.