It’s cold in Ukraine this time of year
my favorite season
6,000 miles away
curled up in bed
by my side
thinking of you
a million flee
the lucky ones
we see pictures
a man in the train station holds his cat
his pain my pain
the inexplicable brutality
do not escape me
are not lost on me
I imagine you in the cold morning
boots cut through the thin layer of ice that formed on sidewalks overnight
I step aside
let you pass
share images of blue and yellow flags
crawl back under the covers
Proceeds from the March 2022 Open Door anthology (Ukraine and Footsteps) went towards Sunflower of Peace to provide first aid backpacks for first responders on the front lines in Ukraine.
Close Up: Poems on Cancer, Grief, Hope, and Healing, October 2022
Orchard Lea Press
A Good Fish
mc was a good fish.
He lived alone in a tank with a big hunk of wood
and a device that made bubbles
and he ate store-bought fish pellets twice a day.
Mittens liked to eat his food and watch him swim.
Sometimes she'd put her front leg (her arm, to me) into the tank up to the shoulder to try to reach him.
A cat that comes to the call, "Wanna feed the fish?"
mc died today.
Poe and I put him in a tiny box and took him to the field, dug a hole with a stick and buried him.
We told him he was a good fish and we hoped he'd been happy.
Poe said she'd get me another fish.
A better fish, she said.
What could be better than mc, I thought?
Poe said my new fish will be blue.
She said we’ll name him squared.
Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to Cancer Council Australia and Cancer Research UK.
How Could Anyone Know
I saved all the letters you sent me
old postcards from faraway places
found rummaging around in junk stores
one of my favorites
faded blue ink
looping, schoolteacher handwriting —
The weather is lovely.
Last night we had crabs for dinner!
Beatrice is learning to swim.
Wish you were here.
I knew it was from you
just like you knew who sent that subscription to Model Railroader
you had no trains
we were so clever
filled with the angst of youth
yet barely a care in the world
but we didn’t know that then
nor did we know
how could anyone know
that one day
there would be no more letters
no more postcards
and life would go on
a Buddhist teacher said keep the heart open
love in death as we did in life
I really try