a poem

El Angel, Mexico City, July 2014. Photo by author

On the fourteenth page of Craigslist
I go back to the 1950’s pioneer resort
on whatever summer day
of the years I see now as youth
when my mother’s mother Ada Bea snuck around to the empty cabins
to scavenge for better dishes, knives, and pots than ours…

an elegy

My grandparents’ rocking chairs, summer 2008. Photo by author.

Down from the top closet shelf
go all the novels I have already read,
the coffee table art books,
my cloth and leather baby bibles,
and I find a tattered 1925 red hardback she gave me called
The Sunny Side of Life

I pack brown boxes for my…

A poem

I take my ghosts where I find them

The discolored spots on the cherry drop leaf from my parents’ breakfast room in 1970

Curled finger imprints in yesterday’s coffee grounds

A sock I do not recognize

Errant butterflies in the wrong season

A new bud on a dried out stem

I live where leaves turn to rust months after fall

And pine needles clump terra cotta patios like a thousand wishbones

I wish I had found your star for Christmas

Haphazard colored lights strung wide in that front window

from frame to frame

Instead I cupped the dirt we placed on your velvet ashes

And saw one thin green blade coming up

a poem

Photo by author

She lived by the railroad but no longer heard the sound

Drove barefoot and red-toed across town without seatbelts or locked front doors

Every summer I stayed with her for Vacation Bible School

She filled up a room, a restaurant, a sanctuary, a September prairie

She died on…

a poem

Photo by author

When it got cold here
maybe in December

I drove to the water with the dog you loved
found a beach without many people

tried to set up a chair
and breathe in the dusk winter waves, slow and long;

but the place was foreign to me
just a strange beach on a brown churning sea

even she looked at me questioning
approached the water reticent

then paced in circles barking
uninterested in laying down or posing sweetly;

the grey sky afternoon offered no evening star
no addendum to your absence

that was the last time
I wandered silently in places we never went

A letter

Dear George,

After 400 years of people who look like me killing men who look like you, twelve citizens of your adopted home decided you were murdered and called the man who did it “guilty.”

I am sorry that you are dead. I am sorry for the violence…

a poem

Photo by the author’s father

My father sent me photos today
Of the yellow fields sprung up overnight in a now South Texas spring
Blankets span a wide angle lens on his ancient iPhone 4 turned sideways
Click click click
in the warm wind
Yellow on top of yellow
arching up and taking over,
a sky’s worth of gold…

a poem

I am in someone else’s home
the dark wood floors stretch wide and long
I work on the patio by the wind chime that sings to me
The owner loves me, and I can stay as long as I need
There is power and water and heat and gas
My body is adjusting…

A poem

Ram Dass writes that we can meet

Without form on another plane,

Understand each other without

Words or bodies;

If my desire to go there with you

Comes from the loss of you

Am I too impure by grasping and memory

To be centered enough for

The certainty of finding you?

a poem

Carson National Forest. Photo by author

Winter still
in this neverending season
No matter how cold I keep the bedroom, I sweat all night
dreams toss me round and back

I cannot remember the last baseball season
or meal with friends
no foray into another state to hike or sun

I am sorry for…

K. Chapman

I like people and stillness. Persuader by day. Reader by lamplight. Drawn back to Texas after New York, California, Mexico and Spain. One of the lucky ones.

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