Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Just days past solstice and the hours stretch
like strung wires across another sky rippled blue

her fever's been gone for days and still
it is your fear that snaps you from bed

each morning.  You run on wide dirt roads
because the snakes are out 
and you need to see

where your feet fall.  Just yesterday 
 you passed a small one, the diamonds
along its back just coming into focus.

You run farther and faster than you ever have-
antelopes freeze on hilltops and you
are the only moving thing for miles.

When she wakes you'll hold her and ask
all the same questions, how do you feel

how do you feel?  The olive tree blooms
and fills the air with thick honey, wet

black calves are licked clean by their mothers,
the river runs lower than it should.

It's June and unbelieveably lovely and
what you feel is the bright stone of fear

between your lungs.  This disease doesn't
exist where you live, each question turns back

on itself.  You watch her sleep away
the middle of each blue day, imagining
the fight happening in her small pale body.

You wait each hour out and try to trust
the medicine, trust her same freckled smile.

Her sister finds a swallow's nest, reads
paperbacks on the porch, dreams

of mountain lions walking
right up to the house.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

beginning again, a rough draft

It seems it shouldn't feel so hard, this sitting down
for a minute to type a few words, or

knowing where to begin, choosing between
describing the small puffed clouds of her sleeves,

the campfire ash and marshmallow 
contentment of her face,

or the way her older sister's bare feet
curled around the warm belly of her pony,
sideways spring sunlight holding her.
Knowing where to start 
is where I falter.

But the light this morning is perfect, fat robins
perched on every fencepost, the invisible trill

of sandhill cranes overhead.  We work ourselves into
a rhythm even when we feel the most scattered.

Mike has eased into spring work, spending seven days
a week in the fields, with a kind of grace I could never have.

But I've learned to blend most of the farmchores into my days
driving the old blue truck out, followed by a trail of hungry mama cows,

setting the stick shift to the slowest gear, holding the steering wheel
at a straight course, then jumping from the cab to climb

aboard the moving trailer, to balance while we roll across the field,
forking hay to my hungry friends.  I'm becoming more graceful
with this whole process, and it feels something like a parade,
my pose altogether different than a beauty queen waving

from a convertible.  My legs wide for balance, pitchfork wielding 
last year's grass, baler twine hanging from my back pocket,
my mind and body in the same place at the same time,
and maybe starting again 
isn't so hard after all.
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