Stronger

Honored to have my poem “Stronger” published in Literary Mama-a beautiful testament to the spirit of motherhood…
“Literary Mama first started to take shape in 2002 as a class called Writing About Motherhood taught in Berkeley, California by Amy Hudock. A group of mothers continued meeting at the conclusion of the class, and within months, had connected with other mother writers who, like them, were producing work that was deemed too complex for glossy parenting magazines and too mother-centric for traditional literary journals.”

“…our current staff of 27 includes women from across the United States, Canada, and Israel. We’re communications professionals, university professors, writers, editors, copy editors, photographers, and moms. Our contributors hail from all corners of the world.”

Stronger

a worn woman stands in my mirror
half-cocked smile working its way to the corners
my mother deserves a joyful daughter
my mother, the one in the mechanical bed
I remember a version of me
standing tall with my broad frame and big hands
(gifts from my dad)
ready to take on life’s traveling circus
I fancied myself a carnival strong-woman
all muscles and charisma

what of this beaten figure confiscating my reflection
proud shoulders curving toward the dirt
hands large like her father’s, now achy and brittle

I long for a return to those 360-mirror days
sauntering like a big cat
pumping fierce iron
positive in mind and powerful in body
yet here I am with the memory
unable to ignite the revival
my beloved weights, big stacks once impressive to many
abandoned on a cold gym floor somewhere

still I lift every day
my mother’s broken body like a heaving sack of flour

from bed to wheelchair to commode
up and down up and down
up ramps down ramps side ramps
in around and back again

with each passing day
I grow stronger

 

b&n bunny

an old painting from a local art show I’d had titled “Creatured” – an amalgam of critters blended together – some whimsical, others ridiculous and some like that dopey orange bunny

unused card

“Winter Wonderland” by Terry Redlin

This image sits on the shelf of my bedroom closet where I see it every morning and remember…

Other than this greeting card, I was unaware of Mr Redlin’s expansive body of work or that- “During the 1990s he was frequently named “America’s most popular artist” in annual gallery surveys conducted by U.S. Art magazine.”

Today while writing this homage, I was moved to write Mr. Redlin to thank him. I learned he passed away in 2016.

the pegasus clock in ICU15

very excited to have my poem, the pegasus clock in ICU15, appear in this excellent zine!
while you’re there check out fellow poet, Robert Okaji’s prize winning piece, A Further Response from the Hornet’s Nest

The Pegasus Clock in ICU15

such ridiculous tools. as if words could fix a bleeding brain.
preordained fabric dividers meant to separate us if you die.
divert eyes staring at the clock. remember I’d told you the
stories. oversized book. water-washed illustrations. pegasus,
my benevolent savior. the man in golden sandals flies me away.
clouds disconnect from bleached cotton and plastic pillows
sweating the sick. sister mary sometimes foiled my library day
with the winged horse. give someone else a turn annmarie. you
can’t take the book every thursday. blinded by Christian light she
couldn’t comprehend pegasus and me needling defeat between
fetlock and toe. so much tubing here. how many times might it
circle the world?
fall risk wrapped around your wrist. i remember
periwinkle choir robes. living angel singing out with bright lips.
mom, please wake up. Use your words. Use your voice. the
pegasus clock in ICU15 stammers. his magnificent  wings
unfurl. shimmering feathers brush away these hideous blinking
lights and institutional grey floors. fly it all away.

unwarm

new poem “unwarm” published in FREE LIT Magazine, please check out this creative online journal, many talented writers & artists

This piece is based on the night my father passed away. I can’t believe it will be a year this November since he left us. On the night of my dad’s death, all emergency responders were nothing short of amazing🌹

Unwarm 

was it your choice
choosing sleep to die in
I watched them
watched them dad
in your mint bedroom
trying to make your chest say something
while your mouth was bound with elastic
and a pump shoved down your throat
screaming in my head

PLEASE stop

he’s gone

leave him be

it goes on like this for an hour
or nearly so
not pronounced dead
until the white sheet
in the emergency room

was that for us
was that for you
maybe for them
still unsure

I kissed your cheek
not entirely unwarm
you look good dad

not dead
not cold
just quiet