Saturday, October 31, 2009

The odd couple

they were an odd couple,
sitting on the stoop tonight.
he needed dental work and she
desperately needed a nose job.
in the morning, the squirrels will
awaken and get to work, first
pulling his bottom tooth, then
the two uppers; she will watch
with that same look of surprise
until they turn their attention
to her, their tummies filling
quickly with succulent
pumpkin flesh.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Cookie Thief

she was the penultimate soccer mom,
four kids and a mini-van, blonde,
a body that did yoga four
times per week when the babysitter
was over and she could sneak away.
she had one dirty secret.
she never brought cookies to
the kids’ events at school, or
presents for other children.
instead, she carefully packaged
extra cookies at the end of every
event, the ones that other mothers had
slaved over, between rushing home
from their jobs, guilt driving them
to bake til the last moment in order
to bring something to the school event.
no, this mother grabbed the aluminum
foil from those mothers hoping to
bring their few leftovers home, she
wrapped their leftovers carefully,
arranging the left over juices, cake,
cookies and books in her large
plastic box and headed out while
the other mothers could only stand
speechless, watching their cookies
drive away in the white mini-van.

Merci a CH pour cet histoire..c’est vrai!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


he called to tell me
he received my postcard,
but he couldn’t read it.
something about my handwriting
being so terrible, not being able
to read more than a few words.
I said I wouldn’t write anymore
and he didn’t like that either,
so I promised to print, or
try anyway.
I’ve heard all this before,
but I can’t remember

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


she made all the appointments after
her friend told her his cancer was found
in a routine screen at age 58.
the dentist, the orthodontist, two
other tests that she would rather
keep private, she’s a modest woman.
all this poking and prodding is quite
unwelcome, but she knows
she has responsibilities and her
children would be quite annoyed
with her if she keeled over well
before her time should be up.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Run on Sentence Girl

she wrote to me asking me
for help editing her paper, that
was for an application to a
university she had spent the summer
at several years ago and she liked
the campus and now she thought:
oh I will apply there; what a good
place to go to graduate school and
after all, the weather is better than in
Massachusetts where she currently
studies climate science, but maybe it
is not as good a school as the
one in Washington where it rains a lot,
or even staying in Cambridge, and so she
reminds herself that such grand decisions
should not be affected by the weather, but
rather by where she grew up and did research and now
she is writing essays that her mother edits,
mostly by deleting colons and semi-colons
and putting
in lots of

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the dancer

so elegant
the skirt of her red
dress flaring
she twirls her lithe
body around him
lifting her towards
the sky her head
drops back
she smiles

Friday, October 23, 2009

but is it art

on the half hour
the docent attached a handle
to the gears and spun a
small aquarium round and round,
the heavier blue liquid
being spun out to the
sides while a video camera
captured the crowd gathered
around, displaying the images
on an adjacent white wall.
the aquarium slowed down
over the next few minutes
and we wandered off
wondering is this art

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Raking Leaves

sodden green leaves
carpet the lawn, now
turning yellow as
it suffocates underneath
the heavy blanket
i lift with my rake
this brisk afternoon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


every weekend for the next three
i expected to be working, laboriously
writing and rewriting, considering
and reconsidering the proposal.
now realizing i am free until January
i all of a sudden am so uncertain what
to do with myself the next three
weekends, ah, freedom.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shoes Hanging.....

In our neighborhood park, we
looked for shade, a tree perhaps
that might grow tall with large leaves
to shield us from the hot summer sun,
where the students might play beer pong,
we might sell our goods at our annual
yard sale, or sit and read a good book
watching the world walk by.
We look up wistfully at first, then
notice the solution, so many shoes
hanging from the telephone wires

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rain V

horizontal sheets, driving
east, then west, her umbrella
concave, then convex, fabric
ripping from the slender stays,
streaks of rain turning her
clothes to kaleidoscopes
of wet and dry.

Friday, October 16, 2009


she shows me her office where
she sits and writes her thesis,
her mind silently working the
theories of climate change,
one against the other,
her chair rests on the wooden
floors trod by centuries of
scholars, in this same building where
her mother, large with child, with
her, researched crystal growth
under pressures only found deep
within the earth.
and now her mother follows her
down the corridor through the
museum where as a little girl
she ran laughing between the
cases of rocks, wondering what her
mother found so interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Acrobatic Mouse

we came face to face, the mouse
and i, his beady little eyes stared
into mine, boldly, with confidence
of his jumping skills into tall glass
jars with no lids, apparently.
i promised him that his glory
days were soon to be over;
the pine nuts are for me, and me alone.
he scampered back behind the sugar,
knocking over a tenuously balanced
bar of chocolate on his way out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Colorado Public Radio Membership Drive

every time CPR has a fund drive,
i subscribe, regardless of whether i subscribed
six months ago since i never know when
i last did and i hear those poor pitiful
commentators begging us to support them.
i want to even though i’m probably committed
for the next 15 years to my monthly payments
that have all stacked up, and maybe even
i’ll have to let my children know that
they have the responsibility of sending my
payments to CPR, and if i have committed
for longer than their lives, to have my
grandchildren send payments as well.
perhaps next time NPR is fundraising, i
should restrain myself and let someone
else pick up the phone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sewing up a Proposal

do you think NASA would like
a red corn bag with a yellow floral pattern,
or the one with the black batik pattern,
i am partial to that one myself.
in between the pages about measuring
surface roughness using atomic force microscopy,
perhaps they would enjoy a photograph of
the corn bag i made for a friend made from
fake puma skin fabric, or the super-sized
corn bag i made for my friend who wants
to nestle her whole body within.
they may have thought they were interested
in quotes for vacuum chambers and rotating
drums, Faraday cups and turbo pumps,
but after a long day of reading mind-
numbing proposals, they may just want to
curl up in their chairs and fall asleep,
their toes nice and cozy warm in one
of Jenny’s corn bags ; )
These make great Christmas presents! Check out my website at!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Too Much Estrogen at Nia

the instructor began by
gyrating her hips and panting into
the microphone, her arms
spiraling skyward, occasionally
emitting small yelps and growls
for good measure.
the space seemed close now as
we warmed up; more women filed
in, pushing the rest of us forward,
crowding one against the other, our sweat
mingling, breasts and buttocks
whirling to the beat, I thought
I might pass out from an overdose
of estrogen.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

why do you wake me

wake me up by lifting the
brass drawer handles on my dresser,
and dropping them over and over
until I stir, or by shuffling
across the floor and then
just standing there until I wake
up with my hair on end, not
sure if it’s S., my love, who came
to visit on his way home from work.
annoy me by emptying the pine
nuts from my cupboard twice,
after I bothered to roast them,
making S. laugh at how silly
I am that I forget what I did with
them and no, they are not in
the freezer or in the peach jam
I put up a few days ago.
why do you wander in this house,
waking me at night, what do
you look for in the late afternoon
or late at night in the kitchen
while I sleep, until you decide in
boredom to stare at me and make
a few noises until I wake and find
that you are not the one I love.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

eat them quick

before the freeze
turns your garden's
tomatoes to
mush, pop them
in your mouth;
savor summers’

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Workout Partner

she drank a glass of wine
before going to the gym;
i could tell since she was
still dressed in her street
clothes when i arrived,
wandering around her apartment
aimlessly as if she had forgotten
where we were headed.
i was tempted to sit down
and drink a glass, too.
instead i grasped her arm
firmly and we headed out for
the gym to lift a few weights,
mostly chat, I admit, and do some
long stretches, while chatting,
before heading
back to her place for a
much deserved glass of wine.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rainy Day

She is wearing a place mat
under her helmet, blue with
white checks to keep her
head dry as she rides pell-mell
through driving rain.
Someone may find her silly
but no sillier than when they
saw her backpacking, almost hidden
under her black and white umbrella.
No one called her silly; no one else
was out there that cold, rainy day.
They were all inside warm and cozy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


around 2 o’clock or maybe 3,
everything slows down, thoughts
swirl into chaos, crisp steps
become stumbles, and smooth
temperaments become storms.
it’s nap time, in the broad
afternoon light, she slips under
the covers and the world disappears
for a bit and when her eyelids flutter
open and tumbles from bed,
a stumble is now a crisp
step, a stormy temperament has
become calm and chaotic thoughts
have transformed into clear insights.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Wedding

As I rushed
into the sanctuary
at the last minute before the procession,
I heard a giggle in the back
corridor; glancing behind me
I saw her in her sweeping white gown,
long bare arms, blonde curls contained
in a delicate crown of flowers.
She waved at me, smiling,
excited to bursting
as if she were going
to her senior prom.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lessons from Dogs I: Recovering from Trauma

she ran out of the kitchen,
her tail tucked between her legs,
hunched over, scared.
no matter that I assured
her that flies don’t bite
and she’d do well to
bite the fly herself.
no, she hid under my desk,
quaking until I assured
her it was safe, at which
point she ran out to meet
me, tail wagging, smiling,
as if she never had a worry
in the world.
If only we forgot our traumas
so quickly.