Tag Archives: poems

Boy (an imaginary child)

He (yes, a he)
was conceived in love
long after our own children were grown
and starting families of their own.
His eyes were golden brown like yours
and he never needed glasses
or contact lenses or braces
or help with his homework
and he didn’t need us to explain ourselves
when we told him how sorry we were
he wasn’t a bigger part of our lives.
He accepted
that we created him in our imaginations—
in our likeness
with a mind of his own
that led him to believe that if he’d had a body
he could have done anything he wanted to
including fall in love
with three women who were wrong for him
before he found the right one—
and they might have joked about
what it would be like if they’d had a child
if only there was more time,
more life left to spend getting right
all those things you and I
got so wrong.





“Nicholas” by Andrew Wyeth, 1956

No One Is Going To Die

You are friendless
on a night
it would be helpful
to have someone intervene
and interrupt your sorrow
and take away the bottle
that is almost as empty
as your heart—
so all you can do
is pretend you see a light
at the end of this dark tunnel
where he waits for you
the man who could erase
your tears just by existing
a little closer
to where you are








It’s 92 degrees outside
and you are chilled to the bone
as if your body believes
you are at the base
of a melting ice cap
and you are
treading water
as it rises
if it
for the alcohol
you’d be frozen solid
because he isn’t coming back
to warm you, thaw you or carry you away
into a future that will go down
in the history books
as anything
but empty
like the landscape
a glacier leaves behind.







Botany Lesson

Boneset and Snakeroot.
Black-eyed Susan and Yellow Coneflower.
Fernleaf Phacelia and Jacob’s Ladder—
wild beauties so similar
that I wanted to start paying attention
to the subtle differences—
differences that wouldn’t confuse
a botanist whose life was spent
studying the details
of leaves and stems
and the number of petals
that differentiate Rue Anemone
from False Rue Anemone.
And because learning takes time
it shouldn’t upset me
that I couldn’t identify
the man in my bed as toxic,
because he tasted sweet
like the wild raspberries
we picked in the woods—
but his thorns are still lodged in my skin
like a lesson I never thought
I’d need to learn—
but if I hadn’t wandered
into that forbidden garden
I would never have been able to recognize love
as unmistakable as Bloodroot and Firepink.
Love fragrant as Bluebells,
perennial and white as Shooting Stars.










Thing is—
over isn’t over.
is when
you begin to realize
there will be
to come after you
to learn him
love him
teach him new tricks
in the kitchen
in the garden
in bed—
and you will be brick-hit
by his happiness—
the happiness
you swore
you’d do anything
to cause
or create—
even if it meant