I met him once.
Kicking around kicking tires at a car show.
His cousin introduced me.
That mix of cocky and self-conscious
that is teenage boy.
I shook his hand with gravity
as I like to bestow adult status
on adolescents.
They seem to savor it
though they may disdain all else.
The month before I asked his cousin,
who came with his parents
to my home for dinner,
“Could I interest you in coffee?”
“Yes, please,” he said,
and his mother gave me the look –
amused  you’d call it–
as if to say
“Well, that’s his first.”
And this boy whose hand I shook
died that Spring.
Crashed his car just horsing around.
I met his mother the following year.
She told me she obsessed
upon every stupid stunt he had pulled
in his short life
and survived.
“If I’d been a better mother,
he might not have tried one last foolish thing.”
She surmised as I offered her
a cup of coffee.



damp hair and wet shoes

and balancing an umbrella and purse

and coffee and keys

finally managing to get into the car

and somehow closing the umbrella

then what to do with the dripping thing

crossing my lap and raining on me

all over again

like the umbrella was just saving it up

to drench me inside

very funny

mother nature


I’m good at forecasts.

I look at figures .

I see their stories.

I know their destination.

The future is foretold in the tally.

The numbers are patient.

They wait in their inevitable trek

To the bottom line

While I pause

In the midst of the process

To write a poem.


Back again
the yellow tailed hawk
atop the folded patio umbrella
as if carved from wood
the sovereign of the totem
my hand on the door
almost turning
almost stepping onto
his claimed territory
both terrible and wonderful
he watched the long grass
and I watched him.
The morning aggressor.