‘Crepe Myrtles’

Crepe Myrtles

 

The technology of these perennials astounds me,

accustomed to trees that never turn and grass that turns

too soon. My blooms lag behind

these sentinels of sidewalk.

If I could resist my mountain nature

I’d stand tall in the summer sun

croon hot pink.

‘No Sale’

No Sale

 

I cannot find the correct vendor

the one that sells the right thing to say

I looked in the restless crowd

looked early in the cave at the edge of the sky

expanded my search through summer

since the desired saying does not seem to be for sale

not today

I take the first train I see

exercise my right to be wrong

say the first word that stands up

says Hi

‘The solution is always’

core.

 

Basic planks

like, Do you need

 a sandwich? a nap?

 

Breathing

Paying attention

Gratitude and grit

 

Routine and serendipity

Holding yourself in an upright push-up

for a solid minute

 

then pushing back into a child’s pose

for the next

I believe, help my unbelief

 

This morning is 9 degrees cooler

than yesterday and the redbud

sprouts leaves

‘I’m Afraid My Raincoat Was Out Dancing All Night’

The inspiration for this poem is Lianne Mercer, who described with great delight her new red raincoat from Lands’ End.

 

I’m Afraid My Raincoat Was Out Dancing All Night

 

(the moon was full).

If it had been a sensible brown or black or gray or even navy, no one

would have noticed. But it was red,

the fire engine red of a children’s storybook.

My red raincoat danced

against the creeping drought,

flapped like flopping raindrops, twirled like swirling thunderstorms.

 

This has happened before.

 

I’ve had to retrieve my raincoat from many the scene of a dancing

crime. Our relationship is fraught. I want

it to wait quietly in the closet. It wants

to scare up some precipitation.

Neither approach increases atmospheric moisture.

 

But today

 

when I went outside before dawn to get the paper, it was wet

with dew. I left the news dripping in the driveway

put on my red raincoat

and together we danced out the door.

‘Morning Swim’

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a poem. I have been writing them, usually when I go to the Thursday morning poetry group, but I don’t always go. This one has been kicking around for over a year. I started it when I taught  The Joyful Partnership of Poetry & Memoir workshop for Tweetspeak. I recently shared it with another poetry class, and they seemed to think it was done. So it’s all yours, world.

 

Morning Swim

thank you, Maxine Kumin, for the title

 

Drove to the pool in the dark

like usual

started laps like usual but

the swim team that splashes beside me

makes waves into my miniscule laps

wasn’t in the lane wasn’t

even in the pool hadn’t jumped yet

was still on deck still in Speedos

hugging, crying

even the boys

 

The coach said

We don’t know why things happen.

            We think we know a person but we never do.

So let’s get in the pool. Swim our 300.

 

Nineteen teenagers jumped

splashed forward

made waves