March For Our Lives, 1

“…and for fuck’s sake, Congress, please impeach that lunatic” said her sign.

“I love your sign” I called to her. She inched closer.

“But Pence is worse” said another woman standing nearby in the crowd.

3 strangers. Middle aged women. Now temporary friends. A Pence vs Trump debate ensued.

“But these kids. Amazing. I can’t stop crying.” Said the sign woman. On that we all agreed. Unequivocally. Unanimously. Whole-heartedly. With Hope.

March For Our Lives

The parents wearing matching orange shirts with “Enough” blazing across their chests danced to the blasting music (was it Michael Jackson?) in the middle of a crowd of nearly a million people (maybe more) while their preteen daughter with braces and her own matching orange shirt averted her eyes. She pretended to be invisible.

“Yes, we are your parents” the mom said, hugging her daughter while still dancing. The daughter’s crimson face was an embarrassment gauge.

“They are actually really cool” I whispered to the girl. “You’ll know that later.” She looked away. What do I know.

March For Our Lives

Wake up

They’re so late this year.
The cherry blossoms are due but
Barely a bloom and the peak is
Pushed back a month.

The tall handsome ranger just told
Me it’s the first time since 1937
They didn’t follow “the model”
“Of course they didn’t” I say out loud.

Chilled and confused by
The prevailing uncertain sadness
Who knows anymore what “the model” is?
It’s easier now to stay dormant.
Hiding from stresses is easier for all of us
Who are living through this tumult.

Exhaustion combined with endless worry.
Who can blame those burrowing?
There is comfort in the mindless.
“I had to turn it off” they say of the explosion of daily news.

But these kids have sent a rallying cry.
“Enough” they’ve said while still suffering.
Hamilton sings “The Unimaginable”
The saddest lament
The senseless loss of a child

Our children.

Now these kids are embraced by what’s good in our nation.
Millions have listened to their call

To wake up
To listen
To March

Wake up cherry blossoms.
You can’t sit this out.
Your beauty is a buoy in dark water.
Like these unstoppable outspoken kids.
These beautiful kids who will save us.

Closing Eyes

Her closing eyes resonated suffering, dismay, sadness and the deepest sense of empathy, The old white woman simultaneously revealed all those emotions along with an ocean’s depth of despair. She demonstrated each feeling in a slow deliberate closing when she listened to the account.

Immigration officers in flak jackets raided the mushroom house in the next town over. They took away eight terrified workers, foraging elbow deep in compost, in a handcuffed line. It was a different eight taken than the four who were sought.
In the panic and despair no one checked the warrant. Or checked for a warrant for that matter. Actual details were sketchy but of this it was clear. The owner had shuffled in the shadowy space, speaking noncommittal mumblings wondering who would grub tomorrow. And tomorrow wide-eyed brown children waited pointlessly for parents who were not coming home.

The old white woman absorbed the account in despair and submerged in a silent meditation for love.
And a silent prayer for empathy.
And she silently raged against all that’s gone missing in this callous cruel time.

Before

It was pink this morning
The sky
Before the sun came up
I walked the windows
Bursting clouds in grapefruit pink

It was perfect this morning
The coffee
Before my dream fog left
I inhaled the aroma
Generous beans in savory nectar

Before today’s news
Before the “Oh My God”
I bathed in a sunrise show
I swam in coffee ambrosia
Amidst the daily trepidation
I’m still here

Wafting love

Rich dark coffee steams, wafting love. The sound of familiar soft feet dashing up cedar steps is my daily relief, knowing he’s safe. His tabby lost to gray in the near dark. “Good morning, good morning, good morning. Is this my kitty?” I hold him like a baby rubbing his soft fur neck. Crickets’ rhythm radiates and sets this morning’s tone while a single edgy crow blasts caws over cricket din. “How was your night? Did you have any adventures?” I kiss his head and set him free.  Alone I retreat to the awakening day.  Three distinct bird songs play over the cricket beat while illumination creep reveals cotton-ball clouds. A winged orchestra tunes, filling the stillest of still as sky streaks welcoming pink. Rich dark coffee steams, wafting love 

July 16

The 25 year old me would never believe I’d become an early riser
Thirty years or so later I’m enchanted by the hours
The younger was convinced were meant for sleep
Or tortured wakefulness
Today’s cool and still summer coffee morning renews
Not yet the hour when lawn mowers invade
A buoying cacophony of birdsong inhabits my ears
A watering can as best friend
One step ahead of drowning summer heat
My meditation in nurturing
A missed day becomes an impatiens’ doom
Now, at summer’s midpoint, locusts insist on intruding
Crashing over syncopated trills, twitters, warbles
Still, distinct screeches overflow my morning world
A myriad of arias blend to a blaring cicada crescendo

Orlando Pulse

How does it feel to be a lesbian in the wake of Orlando Pulse?
How did it feel to be an African American in the wake of Charleston?
How did it feel to be a child in the wake of Sandy Hook?
How did it feel to be a student in the wake of Virginia Tech?
Drowning in waves of Hate is Hate
I fight to by buoyed by Love is Love
But on this day when tears flow and leaden arms resist motion
Frozen in loss and sadness
Unsuccessfully resisting imagining
Remembering a dim lit pulsing beat of the latest dance mix
A sweaty safe place with cranberry juice topped drinks
Where gorgeous girls swirl and shirtless boys dance free
Imagining the surprise, horror, fear, carnage where minutes before
Laughs, kisses, staggering happiness swayed
How does it feel to be a lesbian in the wake of Orlando Pulse?
Like any confounded American outraged by hate
Living in a bubble of love and perceived safety
Wondering if 49 gay lives will spur action
When stunning inaction followed every past slaughter

Old Photo

A photo of my 31-year-old dad holding
The 3 month old me on his lap in my
Childhood album caught my attention today
He holding me I’ve had this photo for years
And thought I knew it he looking down
On me blanket wrapped but today I
Took a fresh look and saw the rotary
Phone on the wall and the pass-through
Window over the draped kitchen table
His slicked back black hair and handsome
Silhouette my round cheeks his crisp
White shirt with turned up sleeves but mostly
I saw his gaze looking down at our hands
I followed his eyes how had I never noticed
He looking at my five tiny fingers holding
Wrapping one of his fingers tightly

Possibly

I have to write a poem so I can’t come to bed yet
But I thought I’d get in and cuddle for a bit
That should surely inspire you she says
Possibly is my instant deadpan reply
Spontaneous laughter spills from us
That may be your best poem ever
We’ll see how inspired I am
More laughter then silence
And silent cuddling
And sweet kisses
Good night
My love
Poem