Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winter comes, with heat

I’m just home from an icy drive
and the first arctic blast has frozen
the floor through the crawl space.
I sit in the big old robe
with socked and blanketed
feet on the ottoman.
My husband is working late.
In the corner, the wood stove
reaches for me with aromatic heat
as if I am the one craved.
On top, the last of the chicken soup,
that final glow of chili and garlic,
tomatoes deep and bright, flickering
onions, all velvet on my tongue now.
Inside, flashes of mystery—
red finger-snapping oak  
erupting instantly
from crusty ash, flames
beating at the window
with lust. And something
else I cannot fathom
about desire: my hands
cradling this bowl,
just right not too hot,
and splayed in the soup
two thigh bones and a knuckle,
surrendered for me, to me,
and my pleasure in this death.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


We are at the cider mill, which has become a massive festival of blow-up toys and pay-as-you-go corrals, the sale of cider, doughnuts and apples apparently insufficient.

The two babies are happy to be outside on their mommies' bosoms in identical, identifiable Ergo carriers, blissfully unaware of economics. 

Distancing ourselves from the festival of apples and pumpkins, we go for a walk on a path along the woods. James, two and a half, straddles Grandpa's shoulders. Grandpa plucks a hickory nut from a tree. "Look, this is a hickory nut, James." 

James takes and throws it indignantly back into the woods. "That is not our own!"

Then Grandpa breaks a small dead branch off a tree and hands it to James, now on the ground, to walk with. Instantly James throws it back. "That is not our own!"

The grassy road undulates ahead, woods on the left, a field of corn on the right. Grandpa picks an ear of dry corn and hands it to James. "That is not our own!" and he throws it back. Grandpa goes and picks up the corn where it landed. "Maybe you can just carry it a while and throw it back later."

And so he begins to eat the dried, borrowed corn. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Arranging stones: poems and quilts

A tiny airliner
crosses the sky,
without sound.

I type one
more word
on the page
and the seam closes.

Indian muslin
sewn to
French toile
means that pale young boys
play with a dog
in a beautiful garden
of dark-leafed paisley.

We pry
stones apart
just wide enough
to let another thing

and with all
that is in our power
sew them

this scar
that is

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer clouds

With no apparent ferocity in their wildness,
shapes of white ash and beam

roll above and past the old house and barn,
which sag under them in rumpled pleats.

Bent peaks and gables finger the buoyant clouds
but seem too weak to hook, release

and catch them: armloads of damp laundry,
which through summer centuries stay daily fresh.

When I was a girl in a small town, one
summer night I dreamt that the moon came

close enough to touch. Clouds hover today,
almost brushing my head,

until something shakes them out.
Heavily they fall. For a while I stand.