Monday, October 20, 2014

This I Believe

When a shaft of sunlight
shines down on
the most comfortable
armchair in the house
and the dog has curved
his spine just right
into the space
where the chair back
meets the chair seat
do not shift him
so you can take his place.
Sit on the floor.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In Case Family Can Be Found

Always scanning the faces
of people in queues
in case family can be found
at the Dairy Queen
on dollar off Blizzard day
or in the returns lane
at Target

Always saying Lovely green beans
Cute dog
Great weather isn't it
to people 
behind tables at the farmers market
on the trail
in case family can be found
behind tables at the farmers market
on the trail

Always stopping to read the bulletin board
in the foyer of the library
in hopes family can be found
between the minutes of the last
city council meeting
and the poster
on the safe disposal of sharps

Friday, October 3, 2014

Last night,

I dreamed I said
Wrap your arms around my neck
to a wolf
and he did
and I staggered backwards
and he lurched forwards
and then he was free from the quicksand
that protects the east entrance
to the elephants' graveyard
and some monkeys screeched on birch branches up above
and a lion roared
and a Jack Russell Terrier
in a jingle dress
danced in the falling snow

Wolf, I said
it was a dumbass thing
to fall into quicksand
anyone with your knowledge of the Paris subway system
should know that
Girl, he said
I had a hunger deep inside
and there's nothing more filling than the marrow
from the thigh bone
of a she elephant
as long as she didn't die
of a broken heart
and so I took a calculated risk
Besides, you shouldn't talk
everyone knows you leave your bed
and go out into the cold in your jim-jams
to score Oreos at 24-hour convenience store prices

Wolf, I said
you see right through me
Girl, he said
you are a Pyrex measuring cup to me

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Zinnia Buffet

The straight row of thumbelina zinnias
is zig-zaggy and not very thumbelina
unless thumbelina means tall and taller
and over there as high as the fence
it wouldn't make a cover shot for
The English Garden magazine

But two swallowtails
a monarch
and a bumblebee as big as a big man's thumb
are tasting one flower and then the next
a little zig-zagginess no impediment
to moving methodically through
what's on offer at the zinnia buffet

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The cat in the alley

It is my supposition
that the baleful staring
through the fence
and the volleys of
strangled barks
that cause the cat
in the alley to be so unmoved
that she rests her upper body
on a tuffit of creeping charlie
and grooms the immaculate
cream of her shoulder
work up a thirst
in the throat of the dog
and so I proffer
my half-full drinking
glass tipped at the
optimum angle for
the tongue sopping
method and say
Here, some nice cold
filtered water for the
Buddha man
and he drinks passionately
like a dog who has
done a dog's heavy work
and I smile down at him
drinking with passion
because he is mine
and I know the day
was won by the cat
and tomorrow will be hers

Friday, June 6, 2014

Four Deer at the Oakdale Trail

Four deer in the clearing
Papa, Mama, their son,
and a cousin who is living
with them while attending
community college
to get her certificate
in phlebotomy
She’s getting
her head together
after finally admitting
that her mother was right
when she said that
taking up with a married man
is just getting on the freeway
heading to Heartache, Minnesota,
population one billion and twelve
There absolutely is no truth
to the story going round
the meth
the sheriff
the rehab on the taxpayer’s dime

Yes, she looks a little rough
But that’s because she
spends all her free time
slapping herself into the middle
of next week every time
she thinks of all the dumb-ass
decisions she's made

Four deer in the clearing
Papa, Mama, their son,
and a cousin who wonders
if she should have waited
to give up Diet Pepsi
until things were more settled
in her life

Networking After the MHSCN Spring Conference

The dog would do this better.
He’d put his pricked ears back
In the no threat position
Lean against your hip
Shove his muzzle
Into your hand
And say to you
"This is called networking?
You want to network
With me, don't you?
Of course you do"