Choppy Water

A few ambitious branches glow
burnt umber, crimson and a
golden shade seen on parrots

We paddle through choppy water

Most trees lining the shore cling
to late August greens, dull and
forlorn as summer winds to an end

We paddle through choppy water

Our canoe is heavy with camping things
And firewood, for flames and pondering

We paddle through choppy water

A lone loon flies low
Parallel to the water’s surface
A precise, effortless distance
There is no flapping, simply
Levitation with forward motion
Isn’t that magic?

We paddle through choppy water

Now, an island’s fancy greeting
A rocky shore with full moon rising
Laying a glistening water runway
Bathing our canoe in moonlight

A tent, an island, a sweet retreat

Summer Memories

In my memory “the girls”, my sisters, hid daily in our next-door neighbor’s pine paneled basement. Those older kids, almost teenagers, played whole-heartedly. All summer. The Game Of Life. Clue. Cootie. Cribbage. Endless Monopoly games.

As a kid of five or six they grudgingly allowed me to tag along to the basement refuge my sisters loved. I promised to be quiet and swore not to be annoying. The sweet boy-next-door, a young teenager, tossed me over the sofa back into the fluffy pillows. I loved that the most. Then he dove himself with a laugh and Fosbury Flop before it was even a thing. My hero. The black and white TV blinked non-stop gray. A Ping-Pong ball clicked time with our fun. I understood my sisters’ heaven.

That musty basement was real perfection. And then it wasn’t any more. The afternoon when it changed the college-age sister of the sweet boy whose basement we loved stood on the steps yelling “Don’t you kids have your own damn home?” She was fierce and strong and scary as hell. We slunk up the stairs, hearts pounding. Tails tucked, heads down. Unwelcome refugees. Hugging the wall against her glare. Shame.

My sisters continued playing next door but I stayed home. And when I was old enough I spent most of my time on the creek in the woods behind our neighborhood. I loved the green quiet where I basked in made-up adventures. I was a daring hero with a pocketknife and rope coiled on my belt. Keeping my distance with imaginary armor.

Nourish

Seven AM rowdy bird screams reverb in the oppressive heat
Blasting unknown calls as others sing secret lyrics.
The chaotic symphony infuses my morning with calm.
Serenity amid the clatter.
The definition of contradiction.

Peace

I dry my seat from overnight dew as
A shaky speckled fawn sniffs
around the edges of the patio below.
Her saddle a constellation of white dots.
White tail flicking intermittently some
unseen fly as she moves out of my
Coffee spot gaze.

Welcome

On this other new dawn the weather is cooler. Relief.
The mother stands in the mulch
Just beyond the pool deck munching grass.
Yesterday’s fawn bounds toward her mom.
Baby’s head under belly tilts, grasping teat,
Sucking hard as her baby tail wags at warp speed.
Rhythmically lifting front hoof in time or excitement,
Like any joyful baby thrilling at mama connection.

Nourish

Full Fluffiness

Patient wanderer wrapped wooly thick and warm
The day is coming when the weight will be lifted
Your extra burden will be eased in just a minute
The buzz will terrify but the outcome’s the coolest
That’s cool “amazing” as well as cool “nearly naked”
They’ll whisk the plunder away to weave wonderful
Warmth and style and blankets and sweaters and
Wonder as your full fluffiness is memorialized
Forever

Pressing

Gleaming purple dream come true
It was the hand brakes that got me
Unconsciously pedaling while braking
Complaining about faulty brakes
Clenched hands battling pressing legs

Do I approve of the press?
Of course, the answer is no
Certainly also the answer is moot
Inescapably pressing
The omnipresent foe
And always the hero of my story