Monday, September 30, 2013

My Mother's Hands

             ... made from scratch / a thousand loaves of bread 

                                                                       ... fish hooks / set with worms found among her flowers

                       ... an ironing board that never saw a closet

                                                             ... my mother's hands ... on everything I touch

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yellow Pears

                                          she lived in an old black van

                                          at the edge of her grandmother's woods

                                          long black hair / voice the sound of damp earth ... chippewa
                                          she gave us yellow pears / my sister and me

                                          we sat quietly / legs dangling ... juice dripping from our chins

                                          I was five years old


My reading of this poem on public radio:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Morning

                                           A big man with a big voice
                                           he rattled the rafters on Sunday mornings
                                           til I thought Jesus would come down from the cross   
                                           I bowed my head in embarrassment for him

                                           and for my ten year old self

                                           who wanted to jump up beside him and sing

                                           How great thou art / How great thou art 


Friday, September 20, 2013

An Earlier Autumn

                                   ... on a hillside below a silent barn / my grandfather wandered

         ... searched the moonlight for cattle long gone 
                                                                                               ... safe in an earlier autumn

My reading of this poem on public radio October 21, 2014:

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Gospel According to Mahalia

                                     ... from the cherry red 45s at my grandfather's house 

                                                                                                     ... to the Washington Monument

   ... she had the same dream and made sure Martin told it 

                                                                              ... the gospel according to Mahalia

Friday, September 13, 2013

Yellow Dress

                                            ... running through the woods in a yellow dress
                                                                            ... mark beside me / looking at my bare feet

                        ... how do you do that 

                                                      ... I laugh ... and just keep running

Image: Artem Rhads Chebokha 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer Nights

                                               ... summers I slept on the porch / full moon leaning in the window

                            ... transistor radio pressed to my ear / searching for chicago                                                                                                             
                                                                                   ... where have you gone Joe DiMaggio

Monday, September 9, 2013

Carnival Glass Summers

               ... she took them from the cupboard ... paused 

                                                     ... top of the ferris wheel at seventeen ... his hand on her breast

                                   ... everywhere they turned another game of chance
                                                                      ... thirty seven carnival glass summers ... thirty seven lies

                         ... dropped one by one from her hands


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Stealing Apples

                                              ... red barn leans into autumn
                        ... silo's white glow
                                                                    ... september stealing apples in moonlight

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Green Stamps

                   ... married early 
                                             ... I bought pots and pans with green stamps my mother gave me
                              ... pressed into little books ... redeemed in misery