Heart Failure

My heart surrendered.
Too many years beating for the wrong
Reasons–sure, got the blood going
Where it needed to be, kept the brain
On top of itself, all the billion cells
Cavorting in the dance of division.

But in all else, it failed,
the heart, failed to do duty
as eyes and ears, failed
to see what was in plain sight
failed to hear the cues,
or listen and know when to quit
the stage. It kept its hungry
longing alive, stuffed itself on whatever
felt good, no matter if it was right
or deadly–was not its place
to decide. It had a mind

all its own. It wanted
what it wanted. It took what it
could get. If it had to break
a thousand times into a million
pieces, it kept its steady drone.
Bam. Bam. Bam. Pulsing,
because once it started,
stopping felt like death.



Christmas, reel-to-reel

We travel with ghosts.
That reel-to-reel tape player
You hid beneath tinsel and bows
Was going to let you last forever.

I could have your voice
To carry, no matter what the years
Stripped away. I interviewed you
Saturday mornings, after Bingo
And Fresca and trinkets I won
From your jewelry box.

Nothing stayed. I can almost bear
The sight of your writing
On old letters in the attic.
But I cannot stand to read
The stories we once shared.

All time comes no more.
I am as old as you were then
And every day, heaven comes closer.
Your voice nearly whispers
In my ear. Crazy is a place
That could keep me from you.



Into the stars!

for Erik

You hurtle down a southern highway
Nothing you love better than this
Bike holding to the road, your face
Stretched to the wind splitting
Across the fahring. You can see
For miles, the truckers and the texters
The unfamiliar road and the trees, bent
With the remnants of summer heat.
You have poured your life
Into this bike, worked her to your specs
Cradled her old engine, pushed the throttle
And disappeared.

I can see us riding now, our disappearing future
Hurtling us to the stars, so far from home
We label them with numbers
And cannot count the miles.
We will hit that road before we know it,
Unable to look down or back,
We will hurtle through the dark
Wind that does not call our names.


key words: motorcycles, BMW R-Series, eternity, love, death

For Grandmom, 93 today

She slips on the world
Our easy living room waltz
Goes the way of time

When I was a little girl, we’d visit my grandmother at her apartment. She’d put on records and teach us to box step. She could always dance, and I believe that although the years have slowed her considerably, her heart is dancing. I am sending great love and light to her this morning, as she is so far away from me in Fairbanks, Alaska. Grandmom, if I could be there, I would.

Grandmom in Alaska


key words:  love, aging, grandparents, grandmom, longing, dancing

At the shore

Children chasing gulls
As if they might ever land
Strong wind comes ashore
 My boy brings me shells
Proof of this wonderful world
Grey whorl in his hand
Men build sand castles
Children catch enormous waves
Sand crabs cannot hide
Old man boogie boards
Salt water in his grey beard
Schooling the young ones
Next wave is bigger
We wait to ride it to shore
Breakers all around
So much eye candy
Bare chested men body surf
Wash up at my feet
Shoreline erosion
I was here once, years ago
Nothing stays the same
Sunset cruise, dolphins
Jump sleepily off the bow
Surfer Dude patrols
The night takes us in
We can finally exhale
As the summer ends
Watching the boys surf
The waves lift them like small birds
Twittering with joy