Mother’s Day

Today is a mixed bag

Like so much in life

And I have mixed feelings

A mess of childish resentments and

Spiteful retaliation and love that

I will probably die with.

My mother was like a starlet kidnapped into a homely peasant family

Tall with blood red fingernails.

My father was the homely peasant over-awed

By his captive.

My aunts were dumpy and mingy with praise.

I was the daughter

Having inherited flat feet and myopia

From my father

And delusions of grandeur

From my mother

A mixed bag.

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Passing Cold

So cold today

With an Arctic blast fast approaching

Driving me inside to

Bide with all the green things I meant to plant

And now I can’t.

What has nature wrought I wonder?

None of us is fit to brave this wind-driven wave

Of frost and ice

Coming so suddenly

Upon us in May.

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Advice

All I can advise is

Avoid the void

Nothing to it really.

Unavoidably the void will be my

Undoing

And yours too.

Nothing we can do to avoid that.

Let’s zero in on avoidance then since

No more valid response to the void

Exists.

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Critiques

I had no idea how much

A critique of my poems would irritate me

I mean, I expected some negativity

For heavens sake

But now that I’m reading the comments

I am pissed off

By every critic’s obvious inability

To understand what I am saying

Or appreciate the subtleties of my prose.

Instead they sound condescending

And nitpicking

And painfully constructive.

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Ecumenical Gardening

Another day digging in the dirt

Cold out but I didn’t feel it

Because the sun was shining and I was hard at work

I saw my snake again

This time on the other side of the path

In different rocks

It slithered away, wouldn’t look me in the face

Went down a hole I think

Or in a crevice.

Being skinny it’s easy to hide.

I clambered up and down a steep bank on all fours

So as not to tumble

Trying to tell the weeds from the flowers

But they were all green

And I didn’t care much

As it turned out, so

I decided to provide a good home for all

Vegetation

Regardless of gender or nationality.

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Haikus

The lake is choppy

Wind blows the waves into froth

I take the trash out.

********************

I swear by love, death

Is there a third thing maybe?

If so I forget.

********************

Ignore me please folks

I am uneasy with crowds

Fuck me if you must.

********************

Walking with Mama

Shuffling slow arm and arm

Not like the old days.

*********************

Snakes coil among rocks

Scaled in black and yellow stripes

My spirit creatures.

**********************

Cat sleeps bored on bed

No mice to chase in winter

Summertime comes late

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First Winter

So there we were

Karl and me and the baby Katy

Not such a baby, four years old. We

Moved into a shack on Brookfield Pond

With our dog Benjamin, the cat Teeda

And four geese.

All citified except for the geese.

The house was heated by a wood stove but we didn’t

Have wood

Or money.

In the winter when the town plow went by

Snow came through the cracks in the walls.

The toilet froze.

We thought it was an adventure.

As soon as the ice on the pond was solid we took a sled

Chainsawed down a tree on the shoreline, a dead elm donated

To us

And split the wood

Standing out on the ice in the wind

Using a maul and sledgehammer. We

Stacked the logs on the sled and towed it back to the house.

Elm is tricky to split

Doesn’t burn awfully hot

But it kept us warm enough

That winter.

And some years later

We got countrified.

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