it’s home

I. Spring

it’s the tallness
of pompous grass
the leanness
of poplar trees
i know

II. Summer

it’s a glass of sugar tea
ice cubes swirling
around a slender spoon

it’s a garden hose
draped in my hand
my thumb knowing
what to do
to fan water
evenly over my plot
before dusk
hints at turning
the sky pink,
orange and red,
then black

III. Winter

it’s work boots

IV. Fall

it’s the kids’ tree
swing i tie off
on a sturdy branch

it’s done


dad makes a home for RT


Asleep in the Sun

Here by way of train to the golden state
It’s day three. I ask my host for a cushion
To rest my bones. Something with its ticking
Still intact. I turn myself directly to the sun,
Lace my fingers, close my eyes. I don’t feel it,
But my head bobs back and forth in good measure.
Old dogs dream. And today I race the clouds.
I spread my aches some place on high, and
When I wake, I will tell you, I am born again.
I’ve been to the Land of More, I’ll say, where
Any patron in need of rescue is resuscitated.
The Land of More is beautiful and breathing.

For Brenda’s Wordle

The Artist

Dad buys
A pair of football cleats
With sharp little tacks
To hold himself upright
In the steep dirt ravine
Behind his brand new house

Dad tills
The ground, rearranges
Trees and plants colors
In eye-pleasing rhythm
Until it looks– he says
Like a Thomas Kinkade

Dad builds
A gazebo with fire light
In the middle of the dogwood
Introducing bushes bright
To burn his long shadow
Before the first Kansas snow

Dad says
If there’s one thing
He wishes he could do
He wishes he could paint
Pictures –deciding (if he could)
Where to put dark and light

{For my sixty-nine year old father
who labors to make beautiful things}

Gazebo of Prayer by Thomas Kinkade

Gazebo of Prayer by Thomas Kinkade

All Is Not Lost

I’ve nearly forgotton about our late July trips to the dump, but I have muscle memory of it. lil girl

In the back of dad’s ford truck, I sat on the wheel hub, hemmed in by splintered two by fours with holes in them from the nails I pounded out, some powdery drywall puzzle pieces I helped tear apart, and the broom mom gave me to sweep it all out with when we were done.

“Get it out there, girl!” Dad hollered at me with his thumbs tucked under his overall straps just below the silver buckles. He’d feed me more wood so I could far-fling it, shot-put it, side-wind it, or swing toss our demolition into the hole we called, ‘stinking oblivion.’

I heaved everything we had into a mingled mixed-up mountain of tree branches, cut grass and splintered lumber, being careful not to put a foot too close to the edge. Always, after we finished, dad would wipe his brow with a blue bandana  folded four times inside his left pocket, and open the red ice chest to retrieve chilled Visine drops for his tired eyes, along with one fresh soda a piece for him and me.

We’d sit on the tailgate, taking swigs of orange pop.  I’d swing my legs out over the great chasm, all satisfied-like.

come~ sit at the edge

of a broken earth and see

that all is not lost