whenever you might be thinking you've had it tough,
remember those who have struggled and worked more
that you ever thought was possible,
remember those who love their mothers even though
they had to leave to seek a better life at age 14.
you may think you had it tough until you found out
someone else returned home only to find that all
their friends were in prison or dead, that was their destiny.
and when you can't find anyway to smile, remember those
that smile in spite of it, while reaching out to those who
have yet less.
I'll keep Larry in my heart as that person, I'll smile
with a wide open smile at those who have less,
I have more than most
for which I am thankful.
the big questions
kayak tour to the island across the bay
or up the river to see birds and monkeys,
or drink margaritas on the beach
and take a long siesta; the only question
which fan will cool our bodies most effectively.
It's so hot.
everyone says hello and the ceviche melts in my mouth.
such difficult questions of which tequila to buy,
we overspent terribly on the sunscreen
but Stephen is already burned.
shall I lie in the hammock to sip my margarita
or sit up and write this poem,
now I will swing in the hammock and
read Mrs. Dalloway.
on the seventeenth attempt to pack for a trip,
I put away three baskets of clothes before even starting.
sweaters, underwear, bras, jeans, socks, workout clothes....
mostly black, does that indicate my mood most of the time.
it's cold here and I can't imagine heat,
not sure if shorts will really work so I pack a cashmere
sweater to hedge my bets.
I forgot to buy a nice swimsuit, so I'll have to
bring that horrendous second hand old lady suit.
I bought it at a thrift shop for a buck and planned
to replace it five years ago.
i never did and it tags along for every trip.
I'll pack my crummy flute, convincing myself that
I'll practice for the next recital but I probably won't.
but now, I'm tired and yearn to sleep a few hours
before the moon is just hovering overhead at
3 am when we'll have to get up and go.
Onward to Costa Rica!
when I am old,
I will read trashy French novels while smoking Camels,
still wearing my flannel pajamas at 2 in the afternoon.
empty coffee cups will surround me in the morning
to be replaced by empty wine glasses after noon,
there will be no job and the grandchildren won't be allowed
into the blue haze of my little house.
I will be outlawed in Boulder where smoking is not allowed.
when I am old,
I won't give a damn about other people's opinons,
I'll write translations from English to French,
making sure to include all the French swear words
that Michele taught me.
That way, no one will think I am not a native speaker.
Once a month, I'll wash the sheets along with my pajamas.
No one will notice or care.
On Sundays, I will shower and go see the children,
I will hug my grandchildren and feed them candy.
Then I will go home and relax after
a demanding day well spent.
I'm taking the night off,
no one will want to hear about my happiness
at solving a first order differential equation
using Matlab, while the world is looking for
terrorists in Belgium.
Maybe I should not be so happy.
I'll take a break from writing poetry tonight
but tomorrow I will write a poem
based on one I read in the New York Times.
It made me happy to read that poem and
wonder how such an assemblage could be
admired but then remembered there is more
than one solution to that equation.
we're getting old.
knees that hurt, detached tissue floating across our eyes.
my hair is falling out and so is his,
she tells me that she can't ride her bike anymore
and my brain doesn't seem to want to move sometimes.
there's no real up side to this one as
my energy drops and the dishes never get done;
fairies don't show up anymore and
my freckles may be age spots, I'd tell you
but I can't see without my glasses and
don't know where they are.
where's that glass of wine,
it'll help me feel better.
there are no words for our broken hearts
savagery and brutality reign over the City of Love,
men who give their lives to kill others in the name of,
such desperation, a tragedy for all, a tragedy of
ISIS, having destroyed centuries old antiquities,
having brought down Russian airliners, having raped
thousands of women and cut thousands of men to the ground.
their violence has spread as a poison across the land, brandishing
guns, rockets, knives, anything to destroy.
there are no words for our broken hearts,
cry, humanity, cry.
one says 95%,
I dropped it in the water.
one says 42%,
I left it in the car and I noticed there
are no holes in it.
one, the cheapest one, says something
reasonable, but doesn't have a brand on it.
my science experiments are on hold,
I might as well go to bed.
the snow will fall gently
while we sleep.
we will not hear city sounds,
cars will glide silently down quiet streets.
we will dream in white, warm
under our covers in flannel jammies.
even the dog will cease her snoring,
the mouse will stop chewing in the cupboard
a moment before the trap snaps, the only
sound in the whole town,
we stir in our sleep, the dog whimpers
and then all is quiet again.
I hardly know how to pronounce it
much less how to deal with it,
a bald patch on the side of my head,
smooth as a baby's behind.
that's not how it's supposed to be.
my goal was to have a full head of hair
until the end, not a goofy looking head
like my mother, with her bald patches,
her hair a mix of black and white.
I am like my mother in so many good ways,
I would have just preferred to not have
the Church was brought to its knees.
the victims had a voice, trembling,
countless years of tears, needles,
alcohol and suicide,
so many years we looked away
because we believed we needed the Church
when really the Church needs us,
our dollars, we gave it our power
while the innocents wept,
we looked away and
pretended not to
jump to a C, like the improvisation
from last night,
triple triple triple
slur from a to A.
this structure of interval can guide a life,
a periodic movement that searches methodically
but not randomly
sure to find
the right ending.
a b c C D E F G A
I know that look,
subtle but distinctive, recognizable
to a mother,
it's time to get her out of there
and change the subject, get some fresh air,
try to get to laughter, replace
that look with a smile,
eat some tiramisu,
drink some wine,
have some tea.
that look would have crumbled
no need for that.
$160,000 divided by 9,000 votes so far = $17.78 per vote.
That pays for a drink and a snack at a local bar.
These are the developers, the realtors, the out-of-state companies
sucking the blood out of Boulder to line their pockets.
They spread fear and shout accusations at NIMBY's while
sipping fine wines and whiskeys in their huge homes on huge lots.
The NO's, the ones who want to keep building, building, building
are shouting out in triumph but there was no sweat equity, they simply
bought the marketers and the PR professionals, that's what
rich people do.
Boulder is screwed, just like San Francisco, a shell of what it
used to be with tech hipsters on every corner and rents so
high they want to move to Boulder so they can buy
out this town too.
Sad, yes, sad, that money wins out.
her refrigerator is empty
so she shows up after work
at our house
and eats my plate of food
(since I wasn't there to claim it)
she drinks some wine
and I hear her laughter from
she asks me to go shopping
with her to fill up her refrigerator,
and I go, happily, actually
because there is nothing like
spending time with your daughter
even if she does eat your dinner.
first thing in the morning,
the dog throws up on the walk and then
tries to eat it, I use my plastic bag
to clean it up so no one else has to be grossed out.
like a middle-aged woman would do.
I checked the batteries to see if they were alive
and put those that aren't in the charger.
Ah, reading the New York Times article about
why women go after each other's throats
after the one on ISIS atrocities.
I'll clip my nails, simple and satisfying.
small pleasures of being middle aged.
This afternoon I couldn't make it all the way
up the hill and had to get off my bike and walk.
Am I really getting that weak?
my daughter, brother and his wife are coming
for dinner, I never regained any love of cooking
after doing it so many years, but managed
to put together something darn delicous.
I'll put away the leftovers and leave the dishes,
I want to get on my pajamas and read my
novel called Adultery, it's a good fantasy
for a middle-aged woman